NEWS RELEASE: Boys & Girls Club
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (March 5, 2013) – The Boys & Girls Club of Cheyenne is very proud to announce that, for the fourth year in a row, a Cheyenne teen was named the Wyoming Youth of the Year. Marty Hernandez, 14, competed Tuesday against two other teens from Casper and Park County in character, poise, public speaking and ability to overcome life's obstacles. A fourth teen from the F.E. Warren Air Force Base participated as well and automatically advanced to the regional competition. The four finalists gave their speeches and met with judges in the morning, then gave their speeches again over lunch with dignitaries like Gov. Matt Mead. The winners were announced after lunch.
Hernandez' speech included his struggles with being born with cerebral palsy and never having known his father, who was abusive to his mother while she was pregnant with him. He told the audience that he feels at home and never judged at the Club because of how he walks.
"Not everyone is good at everything, and they understand that," he said.
Hernandez received a 4-year tuition and fees scholarship to the University of Wyoming as well as $500 from the Wyoming Area Council of Boys & Girls Clubs and $1,000 from the Youth of the Year national sponsor, Tupperware Brands. He will also advance to the regional competition June 3-4 in Dallas, Texas. The six regional winners will compete for the national Youth of the Year title.
The military Club winner, Amanda Markus, received a 4-year tuition and fees scholarship to the University of Wyoming. At the state level, military Clubs only compete against each other, so Markus automatically advances to the regional competition because Wyoming only has one military base. The runner up, Jessica Treto from the Boys & Girls Club of Central Wyoming in Casper, won a $500 scholarship from the Wyoming School Boards Association and $125 from the Wyoming Area Council. The fourth finalists, Jessica Dodds from the Boys & Girls Club of Park County, received a $125 scholarship from the Wyoming Area Council.
"This competition is truly life-changing for youth," said the Boys & Girls Club of Cheyenne's Chief Professional Officer, Rolinda Sample. "The scholarships they receive mean these kids, who may not have ever even considered going to college, have a real shot at achieving those dreams. Plus the experience they get with interviewing, public speaking and maturity will serve them well for the rest of their lives."
About the Boys & Girls Club of Cheyenne
Since opening in 1997, the Boys & Girls Club of Cheyenne has focused on inspiring and enabling all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens. Program areas offered to youth include character and leadership development, education and career development, health and life skills, the arts, computer training and sports/fitness/recreation opportunities. The Club provides afterschool and summer programming for youth ages 6-18. The annual fee for afterschool programming is only $10 per year. For more information, visit www.bgcchey.org.