Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago enjoyed a fantastic evening on March 5 inside the Aon Grand Ballroom at Chicago’s legendary Navy Pier. With close to a 1,000 supporters, staff, and special guests – including Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and First Lady Amy Eshleman – the organization celebrated their six remarkably hard-working Youth of the Year finalists.
All six finalists including, Adrianne H., Carla K., Evelyn H., Miguel R., and Will T. as well as Camila shared moving and heartfelt speeches about their personal journeys, challenges and triumphs. Camila’s powerful admission of the many struggles she’s overcome to pursue her dream of becoming a surgeon compelled the judges and Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago’s many respected supporters in attendance.
“I’m incredibly honored to be Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago’s Youth of the Year, and I’m so grateful to my Club mentors, friends and family who helped me work toward this achievement,” said Camila.
Each Youth of the Year finalist is nominated by their Club, as a stand-out member who best embodies the values of Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago. With weeks of work leading up to the competition, Camila and her fellow finalists undertook a series of commitments and trainings in order to represent their Club.
In a surprise announcement, Chairman of the Board, Bartlett J. McCartin III, honored two deserving Club youth with a new award, the first annual McCartin Family Service Award. This award honors Club members who excel at supporting their Clubs and communities through mentoring and acts of service.
From feeling invisible in her own community, to finally being supported and seen at her Club, Camila impressed the audience with her story and dedication. She will be attending Michigan State University to study pre-med in the fall.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago will continue to champion all of our members in our vital mission to serve the kids who need us most throughout the city of Chicago.
Please join us in cheering on Camila as she continues on to the Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year State Finals this coming April. Your continued support is truly what makes all that we do possible.