BEDFORD, N.Y. – Fox Lane student Elizabeth Stephenson of Mount Kisco was recently chosen by New York State Senator Greg Ball as the “Westchester Boys and Girls Club Youth of The Year.”
Established in 1947, Youth of the Year is BGCA’s premier recognition program for Club members, promoting service to Club, academic success, public speaking ability and strong ties to the community.
“It was a great honor to meet Elizabeth. She is an extremely active member of our community that balances her schoolwork and family life all while giving so much back to our community through her volunteer work,” said Ball.
“I expect great things from her in the near future and wish her great success at her time attending Hampton University,” he added.
Stephenson was as excited to receive the recognition as Ball was to give it to her.
“Every time I walk through the Boys & Girls Club doors, I fell a burst of cheerfulness knowing that I will be enhancing my community, teaching a child something new, or even learning something new myself,” said Stephenson.
“The Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester, to me, isn’t just a building on Main Street—it’s somewhere I can call my home away from home. I’ve been positively influenced by so many of the people. I can say with their help, I’ve grown to be a mentor for the children who are coming up behind me,” she added.
Local Clubs recognize members ages 14 to 18 as Youth of the Month winners and select a Youth of the Year, who then participates in state competitions. State winners each receive a $1,000 scholarship and participate in regional competitions. Five regional winners each receive a $10,000 scholarship and compete on the national level. The National Youth of the Year receives up to an additional $50,000 scholarship and is installed by the President of the United States.
Stephenson definitely put in her time throughout the years to earn the award.
She has volunteered over 300 hours to the Club, in the past two years while remaining very active in both church and school. She also served as a model Counselor in Training in the Wilfred Jenning Summer Leadership Program, where members learned job readiness skills and are mentored by Boys & Girls Club staff. Additionally, she has participated in several Boys & Girls Club programs such as Money Matters, designed to promote financial responsibility and independence among Club members.
During her time in the Keystone Club, a teen group dedicated to leadership and community service, Stephenson served in the office of Secretary and then President.
Currently a senior at Fox Lane High School, she will be attending Hampton University in September where she will be a student in the School of Pharmacy.
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