Cheyenne, WY (KGWN) - Perseverance and determination would be good adjectives to describe the finalists for Wyoming's Youth of the Year Award.
The Wyoming Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs awarded its highest honor in Cheyenne.
Each of them overcame personal adversity to make it where they are and they owed much of it to the Boys & Girls Club.
"Before I started going, I never expected myself to do any of this. It's allowed me to do so much more than I ever thought possible honestly," said Austin Babcock, Wyoming Military Club Youth of the Year winner.
"They work so hard to keep us safe and positive and their job is not easy because not a lot of kids take that," said Kaylee Williams, Wyoming Youth of the Year winner.
Each finalist was awarded scholarship money to further their education.
Austin Babcock has dreams of going to college to pursue his love of music.
"This is changing my life. I mean I'm definitely going to go to college now. I'm definitely going to have a future. This is everything to me," Babcock said.
Kaylee Williams plans to attend the University of Wyoming and become a doctor someday. She was shocked to find out she had won.
"I was like, 'oh my goodness, oh my goodness,' and so I was excited."
Williams, whose mother had her at age 15 and who never knew her father, said this experience has taught her that hard work really does pay off.
"I just wanted to show people that you can be and do whatever you want no matter where you come from. No matter how hard it is, that if you believe in yourself then you can do anything," Williams said.
Austin and Kaylee will represent Wyoming at the regional competition in Dallas in June for a chance to advance to nationals and be named the National Youth of the Year.