2021 Youth of the Year Virtual Competition

2021 Youth of the Year Competition 

The Youth of the Year Award is Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago’s highest local honor, rewarding leadership, service and academic standing.

Each year, Clubs recognize teen members age 14-18, nominating one exemplary member, to compete for the title of Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago’s Youth of the Year.

Congratulations to the 2021 Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago's Youth of the Year, Sammantha C., from the True Value Boys & Girls Club!


Our live-streamed virtual event was a resounding success with nearly 500 guests. Sammantha was joined on the virtual stage by a remarkable field of six finalists, which included Claudia D., Mariana M., Samantha B., Trinity E., and Yanelli C. 


Just a high-school sophomore, Sammantha C. impressed judges with the leadership she's displayed in her five years at the Club. She's been a member of the Keystone Club, the organization's leadership program, as well as a mentor to younger elementary school-aged members by leading dance instruction.


Sammantha's speech highlighted her commitment to service, her power to overcome adversity, and her extraordinary creativity and resilience. Like so many of the finalists, Sammantha exemplifies BGCC's mission-in-action and speaks to the bright futures of Chicago's youth. Sammantha aspires to be a social worker in hopes of guiding youth to finding their inner strength and resolve.

"A home isn't always where you sleep at night," Sammantha said in her speech. "It can be a place where you love being … the Club is my second home, my escape and my toolbox to a successful future."


Each finalist received several amazing prizes, including a new laptop courtesy of CDW, a leather carryall tote bag from Best of Seven, Chicago White Sox memorabilia from the team, a personalized Chicago Bulls jersey from the team, and a $1,000 Craig Martin Scholarship to support their educational pursuits.

The Youth of the Year event also featured the announcement of the second annual McCartin Family Service Award recipient. Jacky L. of the Valentine Club received this one-time scholarship of $10,000 for his extraordinary work serving and supporting younger Club members. Jacky plans to use the scholarship to study engineering in college next year, as he works toward a career in improving mass transit systems.


It was an inspiring evening, celebrating such remarkable Club members and witnessing them taking their first steps toward their undeniably bright futures. Next up, Sammantha will proudly represent Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago at the Youth of the Year Illinois State Finals.

There is still time to make a gift to support the Youth of the Year Competition, please donate below!

For additional information, please contact Matt Beran at 312-235-8015 or mberan@bgcc.org