Selected from several local outstanding youth, Spencer Graham will compete against other Boys & Girls Club members for the Washington State Youth of the Year title and a the opportunity to receive a $1,000 college scholarship from Tupperware Brands Corporation. As the new Youth of the Year, 18 year old Spencer is an extraordinary young man recognized by Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) for his sound character, leadership skills and willingness to give back to the community.
Being named Youth of the Year is the highest honor a Boys & Girls Club member can receive. As BGCA’s premier youth recognition program, Youth of the Year recognizes outstanding contributions to a member’s family, school, community and Boys & Girls Club, as well as overcoming personal challenges and obstacles. Youth of the Year encourages Club members to reach their full potential by achieving academic success, leading healthy lifestyles and contributing to their communities. Youth of the Year honorees are terrific examples and living proof that great futures start at Boys & Girls Clubs.
“Spencer Graham has overcome several challenges in his life and is a leader who strives to help others. At the Alderwood Boys & Girls Club he is the Keystone Club president (teenage leadership service group) and positively impacts both kids and adults lives.” said Mike Neumeister, Area Director and Unit Director Alderwood Boys & Girls Club.
Spencer has a great character and a lot of potential. He has the confidence of someone who makes positive choices. Spencer lives with his mother while balancing school work, swimming for the Meadowdale High School Swim Team, a job and Club activities. He has gained a confidence from knowing that even though life can offer challenges, he can overcome struggles.
When Spencer began attending the Alderwood Boys & Girls Club in the fifth grade he quickly became involved in Club activities, including playing on several basketball teams over the years. He volunteers as a Counselor in Training during summer camp and is currently the president of Keystone Club. Spencer is a positive role model for younger Club members.
Ultimately, Spencer’s goal is to work with children, teens and adults going through the pain of living with those suffering from drug and alcohol addiction. After graduation he plans on attending Edmonds Community College to study Drug/Alcohol Counseling. “Post high school education is my opportunity to start my future and give it my all,” he said in his Youth of the Year application when writing about his goal of becoming a counselor. He understands struggling with challenges should never make someone feel happiness and success are out of reach and he hopes to help others learn that their past does not define them.
If Spencer wins at the state competition, he will compete for the title of the Pacific Region Youth of the Year and an additional $10,000 scholarship from Tupperware Brands, the recognition program’s national sponsor. Five regional winners will advance to Washington, D.C., in September 2014, to compete for the title of BGCA’s National Youth of the Year. The National Youth of the Year will receive an additional scholarship of up to $50,000 from The Rick and Susan Goings Foundation and will have the opportunity to meet with the President in the White House.
We would like to offer special thanks to our Youth of the Year judges, who generously gave their time to interview all the Youth of the Year candidates and thoughtfully select Spencer out of an outstanding group of candidates. Thank you to:
Rick Cooper, Chief Executive Officer of The Everett Clinic
Jennifer Gregerson, Mayor City of Mukilteo
Jean Hernandez, President of Edmonds Community College
Larry Jubie, Jubie Construction
Rory Klein, Marketing Director at Auto Concepts Northwest and Marketing Director/ IT at Klein Honda
Brenda Olson, Olson Franchise Group Advertising
Thank you to our Masters of Ceremony and National Youths of the Year: Dr. Tony Agtarap (1983), Adam Cornell (1991) and Dr Liberty Franklin Mataia (1998)
We would like to recognize and thank all the candidates:
Abigale Nolen, Arlington
Ford Jensen, Cascade
Bree Daigneault, Coupeville
Shawn Fuller, Granite Falls
Courtney Ellis, Lake Stevens
Makayla Belew, Marysville
Amanda Lee, Monroe
Robert Renteria, Mulilteo
Erica Aguilar, Oak Harbor
Morgan David, Snohomish
Malia Jones, South Everett/Mulilteo
Ruby Zamora, Sultan
Arely Diaz-Cuevas, Trailside
Samantha Marteney, Tulalip