Youth of the Year
Each year, Boys & Girls Clubs across the United States honor one local youth as their “Youth of the Year.” Candidates are outstanding members, 14 to 18 years of age, who exhibit exceptional leadership skills, academic achievement, and outstanding service to Club and community. Past winners have included Victoria Lattanzio, Spencer Gordon and Brianna Barefoot
From the youth who are nominated, only a few will be selected. Finalists will be interviewed, and asked to write essays on their home and family life, spiritual values, school and community, and life goals. A panel of judges will make the final decision. Local winners will compete against other Boys & Girls Club youths for the state “Youth of the Year” title.
Eveyln Ortiz, our Youth of the Year, competed against other outstanding youth across the state of New York and won the title of New York State Youth of the Year!
Evelyn will now move on to the next phase of the competition and compete for the title of Northeast Youth of the Year.
2021 Youth of the Year
The Boys & Girls Club of Oyster Bay-East Norwich is excited to recognize an outstanding member of the Club with the “Youth of the Year” award for 2021, which is generously sponsored by the Quinn Family Foundation. The Club is extremely proud to announce the “Youth of the Year” for 2021 is Evelyn Ortiz. This member will go on to compete at the Youth of the Year state level, and may progress to the regional and national competition. The Youth of the Year is Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s “signature effort to foster a new generation of leaders, fully prepared to live and lead in a diverse, global and integrated world economy.” The recipient is selected based on their character, willingness to help, and positive attitude. They show dedication to character and citizenship, living a healthy lifestyle and to academic success. The Youth of the Year title is the most prestigious Club honor bestowed upon a young person. These individuals exemplify the Boys & Girls Club values and are proof of the impact Clubs make in transforming young people’s lives. Previous recipients of this award include, James Bodian in 2020, Brianna Barefoot in 2019, and Spencer Gordon in 2018.
Evelyn joined the Club as a teen in 2017 when her younger siblings, Brianna and James, became members. Her parents were both out of the house in the afternoon, and they wanted a safe place for their children to go afterschool. As a teen, Evelyn felt a little old to be at the Club and often found herself asking counselors if she could help. She was a natural teacher and with so much experience taking care of her younger siblings, she fit in perfectly at the Club as a member of the Club’s Torch Club for teen volunteers. Her positive interactions with youth while she was at the Club made it obvious to all, that she would one day work there. When she was old enough, she was offered a job as a program assistant and she has been making a difference in children’s lives every day since then. Evelyn also works at the Control Desk signing members in, assisting families with registration and pick-up, and doing data entry for the Club. When she is not at the Control Desk, Evelyn is helping members with Gala performances and other special projects.
Evelyn, a senior at Oyster Bay-East Norwich High School, is an active member of extracurricular activities. She is a member of the “Breaking Boarders Club,” the publicity officer for the school yearbook, and a member of the Chamber Singers. She is currently preparing for the school chorus’ “Cavalcade of Choirs,” where she will be featured as a soloist. At last year’s school musical, “Into the Woods,” she stole the show as Cinderella’s mother. It’s no wonder her favorite movie is “High School Musical 2.”
When she’s not that the Club, she enjoys spending time with her family and participating in her church choir. This fall, Evelyn will be attending Adelphi University where she plans to major in childhood/elementary education. Her dream since kindergarten has been to become a teacher. At an early age, Evelyn was inspired by her teachers, and she wants to be an inspiration to the next generation of learners. Evelyn will be the first member of her family to attend college and is on track to not only receive a bachelor’s degree, but a master’s degree, as well. When asked how the Club impacted her, Evelyn replied, “the Club has taught me the lesson that hard work pays off and dedication opens doors and opportunities. As a young Woman Of Color from the Latinx community, opportunities like this do not present themselves every day. The Club has helped me embrace who I am and I am thankful for all the people I have met and who have helped me get to where I am. The Club holds a special place in my heart.” When asked what she would tell someone about the Club, she responded “It’s a great place to meet people and you have the opportunity to do so many things. It’s a place where I have met some of my best friends and it was one of the best decisions she had made to join.”
Evelyn’s favorite color is purple, and she loves the t.v. show “The Office” which explains her admiration for the show’s star, John Krasinski. Her favorite superhero is Black Panther. She loves the subject math and when it comes to reading, “The Great Gatsby” is at the top of her list. Original cheesecake is her weakness, and the Fourth of July is her holiday of choice. When asked who she admires most, she said “my Mom! She has been through so many hardships and she’s taught the biggest lessons of life. I would not be here without her advice.”
Evelyn is a hard worker who excels at school. She is as dedicated to ensuring she has a great future as she is to ensuring the youth at the Club do, as well. She finds the time to balance school, work and her family obligations without missing a beat. She is eager to take on any task presented to her, and her reliability is one of her many strengths. The Boys & Girls Club of Oyster Bay-East Norwich is proud to announce its Youth of the Year for 2021, Evelyn Ortiz.