(Casper, WY) – The Boys & Girls Clubs Area Council for Wyoming hosted the Junior Youth of the Year competition at the Young AmeriTowne: WyoTowne building on the morning of October 27th. Youth from Boys & Girls Clubs across the state traveled to Casper to participate in the competition, beginning with a speech to the audience about what their Club means to them, and then they participate in an interview with a panel of judges. This year’s competition featured 8 youth from Boys & Girls Clubs in Cheyenne, Casper, Glenrock, Rock Springs, Riverton, Dubois, Douglas, and Gillette representing 6,500 Club members across the state.
The qualities that the judges assess are centered around service to the community and leadership at the Club. The Junior Youth of the Year program fosters Club members’ emerging leadership abilities while preparing them for later participation in the National Youth of the Year program for High School Members. This year’s participants were:
- Elizabeth Cabrera, Boys & Girls Club of Cheyenne
- Natailya Carver, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Wyoming – Greater Casper Branch
- Kaycee Coker, Boys & Girls Club of Glenrock
- Francesca Copeland, Boys & Girls Club of Sweetwater County
- Ariadne Ennis, Boys & Girls Club of Riverton
- Levi Jackson, Boys & Girls Club of Dubois
- Indiana Moon, Boys & Girls Club of Douglas
- Sevryn Musser, Boys & Girls Club of Campbell County
This year’s winner was Natailya Carver from Casper. Natailya has been a Club member for 6 years and loves every aspect of the Club but most importantly, the supportive mentors. After deliberating the judges ultimately chose Natailya for her leadership at the Club. The judges said it was a very difficult choice because all of the candidates were so qualified and did an amazing job with their speeches and in their interviews.
Pedro Mendez, the Casper Main Club Assistant Director said “I am very proud of Natailya. She works very hard every day at the Club, she is always willing to help other members. She is very involved in our Torch Club and is always willing to participate in our service learning projects at the Wyoming Food for Thought Project. I cannot wait to see what she does in the future!”
Casper Mayor Ray Pacheco presented the aspects of being a leader to the candidates. He said one of the biggest things a person can do as a leader is to forgive others, not just seven times, but seventy-seven times. He also said that the biggest difference a leader can make in the world is in how they treat other people, encouraging the youth to walk in love, and spreading kindness.
The Junior Youth of the Year competition is hosted by the Boys & Girls Club Area Council for Wyoming each fall. The competition is open to Club Members ages 10-13 from any Boys & Girls Club across the state of Wyoming.