Five teens from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County were celebrated in recognition of their nomination to the local Youth of the Year competition on Feb. 5 at Boardman & Clark LLP in downtown Madison. These students were selected by peers and staff based upon their demonstration of outstanding character, leadership skills and community involvement.

The 2019 Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County Local Youth of the Year nominees Florentine Amessepe, Michel Avalos-Cervantes, Cesar Gomez, Savannah Montgomery, and Terjuan Short were recognized for their outstanding character, leadership skills, and community involvement. The Youth of the Year celebrates teens whose Club experience has empowered them to leverage their voice and leadership skills.

“This competition showcases the success of our young people who lead in their communities and schools,” says Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County CEO Michael Johnson.

Each young leader was given time to speak to the issues facing youth today that they felt was most important to address in the Madison community. The topics of focus included the opportunity gap facing youth of color, resources and support for undocumented and DACAmented students and fear surrounding the recent ICE raids, and awareness of mental health issues facing youth, compounded by increasing reliance on social media and the stigmatization of mental health issues in the African American community. This spring, the students will take action by organizing a Youth Service Day for their Boys & Girls Club peers.

Savannah Montgomery

Savannah Montgomery was selected as the 2019 Youth of the Year Ambassador for Dane County and will participate in the State of Wisconsin competition on March 11-12 in Madison. This nomination included a $1,000 college scholarship. All four additional nominees received a $500 college scholarship courtesy of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County.


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