On February 28, Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County named Jayden D., a senior at Palmetto High School, as the organization’s 2023-24 Youth of the Year Representative. The announcement took place at the 2023 Youth of the Year Celebration Dinner held at The Bradenton Country Club. Jayden’s Youth of the Year title includes a 1-year Florida College Prepaid Scholarship. He will now vie for the Florida Youth of the Year title and additional awards from Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
“We are so proud of Jayden’s accomplishments to represent our Manatee County Clubs this year. He is a bright and determined young man, with a desire to make our community and world a better place,” said Dawn Stanhope, President and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County. “We will be cheering him on as he competes against other Youth of the Year winners from across the state next month!”
Jayden, a National Honor Society student with plans to attend Saint Leo University, credits his family for his strong foundation and football for the development of his leadership skills and confidence. A Club member since the age of seven, he appreciates the Club that provided him with the ability to reach heights never imagined and is grateful for the Club staff and members who helped him become the young man he is today.
“The way I hope to change the world is to start my own business and mentor teens and young adults to help them through life’s challenges,” said Jayden.
“It’s a privilege to see Jayden receive Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County’s 2023-24 Youth of the Year title,” said John Agnelli, Club Director at the Palmetto Boys & Girls Club. “His dedication to serving others, compassion and strong leadership qualities puts him on a trajectory to influence positive change now, as our Clubs’ ambassador for youth, and into the future.”
The Youth of the Year runner-up, Skylar G., a member of the DeSoto Boys & Girls Club, also received $1,500 towards a Florida College Prepaid scholarship. In addition, Dior A., a member of the Boys & Girls Club at G.D. Rogers Garden-Bullock Elementary, was announced as the Junior Youth of the Year. Dior, along with all the Junior Youth of the Year finalists, received recommendations to apply to the Clubs’ partner, Take Stock in Children of Manatee County, for the potential of receiving scholarships upon successful completion of the program.
The Youth of the Year title is a prestigious honor awarded to an exemplary young person in recognition of leadership, service, academic excellence, and dedication to live a healthy lifestyle. Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Youth of the Year program honors our nation’s most awe-inspiring young people on their path to great futures. The competition starts at a local level, then state, regional and national, until a National Youth of the Year is chosen to serve as an ambassador for Boys & Girls Club youth.
The Youth of the Year Celebration Dinner was presented by Publix Super Markets Charities. Sponsors included Larry Clark, Bob and Carol Carter, Herbst Foundation courtesy of Fred Nelson, Pittsburgh Pirates-Bradenton Marauders, NDC Construction and Taylor Emmons Scholarship Fund.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County
Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County’s mission is “to enable all young people, especially those that need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.” In operation since 1946, Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County currently provides afterschool and summer programs for over 1,500 young people at six locations (2 traditional Clubs and 4 school-based Clubs). The Clubs offer a safe place to learn and grow, where members experience both life-enhancing and character-building programs focused on academic success, healthy lifestyles, and good character and leadership. For more information, call 941-761-2582 or visit www.bgcmanatee.org or www.facebook.com/BoysGirlsClubsManatee.