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Madison teen wins Boys and Girls Clubs of Dane County’s “Youth of the Year”


Madison teen Abea F. was selected amongst five outstanding youth finalists to be named the “Youth of the Year” by Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County, the organization announced on Monday.

“This is always one of my favorite events of the year,” said Michael Johnson, president and CEO of BGCDC, in a statement. “These incredible young people work so hard to better our communities. Their event stories will bring you to tears. It really highlights and affirms the impact that BGCDC makes in the lives of youth for a more successful future.”

The “Youth of the Year” title is a prestigious honor bestowed upon an exemplary young person in recognition of leadership, service, academic excellence, and dedication to living a healthy lifestyle, BGCDC said in a press release, and this competition comprises four parts, an interview, public speaking, three essays, and an overall application, on which they are judged on.

According to BGCDC, Abea F. is an AVID/TOPS (Advancement Via Individual Determination/Teens Of Promise) senior at Vel Phillips Memorial High School and is bilingual, a first-generation student, and an immigrant originally from Cameroon. After witnessing the multiple mental health services provided in America, she became interested in elevating the status of mental health and providing similar services for people in Cameroon. With these ambitions, Abea plans on majoring in psychology and pre-med in college. While Abea has been an AVID student for 6 years, she has also participated in the Restorative Justice Club, Black Student Union, and Multi-cultural Club.

The Youth of the Year program is now in its 76th year. Abea will go on to compete for the Wisconsin Youth of the Year title and a $2,500 college scholarship from the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Should she win that title, she will vie for the title of Midwest Regional Youth of the Year and will receive an additional $20,000 college scholarship if chosen along with a chance to compete in the National Youth of the Year event in October 2023.