Arcadia High School junior Jessica DuBois has been selected as the 2013 Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale Youth of the Year.
DuBois, 16, is a member of the Hartley & Ruth Baker Branch, which is located in south Scottsdale. She has been involved in a variety of educational and community service programs since joining the Club more than five years ago and is an active community volunteer, logging more than 90 hours of service in recent months.
- Smart Girls, which is a health, fitness, prevention/education and self-esteem program for girls ages eight to 17 designed to encourage healthy attitudes and lifestyles that will enable early adolescent girls to develop to their full potential. She also serves as a mentor to younger girls entering the program.
- What’s Hip, which is an eight-week program for high school girls covering issues such as relationships, drug and alcohol use, self-esteem, and fashion, among others. The program culminates with a fashion show at the Rose Lane Branch.
- eCrew, which is a program developed in partnership with Arizona State University, C4 Systems, where General Dynamics’ engineers mentor Club members and provide them with the tools and knowledge needed to potentially become engineers and business leaders.
The Youth of the Year program has been an integral part of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America for more than 60 years and is the highest honor given to members of the organization. This annual program begins in January when each of the Scottsdale Clubs’ nine area branches, which are located in Scottsdale, Fountain Hills, Salt River Pima-Maricopa and Hualapai Indian Communities and other Northeast Valley neighborhoods, crown their own Youth of the Year honoree. Each of these members are chosen based on their dedication to the Club, community and family, academic performance, moral character, life goals, leadership, poise and public speaking ability.
From there, each of the nine branch Youths of the Year undergo a two-month judging process, which culminates with the kids being honored and then giving a speech during the Celebrate Youth Gala & Auction, the non-profits biggest fundraising event of the year.
Presented by Tiffany & Bosco and Great American Title, the annual gala, which took place on March 9 at Talking Stick Resort and Casino Arizona, included a dinner, silent and live auctions, paddle raiser, and live entertainment by Club members.
During the gala, DuBois shared her dream of becoming a pediatric nurse one day – a dream much closer thanks to her Youth of the Year prizes, which included a $5,000 scholarship from General Dynamics C4 Systems, a laptop from NPCE Technology Solutions and a Young Leadership Training scholarship from U & Improved.
Her eight fellow branch Youths of the Year were also rewarded during the gala, each receiving a $1,000 scholarship from General Dynamics C4 Systems and Google tablets from NPCE Technology Solutions. They included: Ariana Alvez, Samantha Elder, Amari Gonzales, Dani Haboush, Alexa Jenouri, Marissa Masters, Kristofferson Walker and Lane Yazzie.
2013 Gala Title sponsors were Tiffany & Bosco and Great American Title, with other major sponsors including General Dynamics C4 Systems, Republic Services, Go Daddy, Talking Stick Resort and Casino Arizona.
This event caps off a whirlwind 12 months for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale, which also included:
- The Clubs’ Lehi Branch, which serves youth from the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, finishing construction and hosting the grand opening of its new $50,000 Teen Center, which includes a performance stage, upgraded fitness equipment, a computer lab, décor improvements and a painted mural representing the Native American culture.
- The Club’s Red Mountain Branch, which also serves youth from the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, being honored with a National Award of Merit for Program Excellence in Health & Life Skills from Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
- The Club’s Vestar Branch, which serves youth from the Desert Ridge and North Phoenix areas, being named the top branch in the nation by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.