Teens Program

Youth of the Year

“The Club is a second home to me so being the 2023 Youth of the Year has been a true honor. I am able to help our younger members grow into responsible and honorable citizens, just like I was taught.”

- Valentina Cabrera, 2023 BGCNW Youth of the Year

The History

Since 1947, the Youth of the Year program has honored and celebrated the nation’s most inspiring youth and their incredible stories. The Youth of the Year is a prestigious honor bestowed upon an exemplary teen in recognition of their leadership, service, academic excellence, and dedication to living a healthy lifestyle. Now, in its 76th year, the Youth of the Year program honors America’s most awe-inspiring young people on their path to a great future.

Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester (BGCNW) had its inaugural Youth of the Year Ceremony in 1995.

The Journey

Throughout the Youth of the Year journey, Boys and Girls Clubs recognize these outstanding young people at local, state, and regional levels before providing an opportunity for six of these teens to strive for the title of National Youth of the Year.

Candidates wishing to participate in the Youth of the Year program at the local level complete an application portfolio consisting of a candidate bio, resume and cover letter, three (3) essays (My Club Experience, What Matters to Me, Personal Growth), two (2) letters of recommendation (Club, community), and supporting documents.

The Reward

The candidate who most demonstrates the qualities of leadership, commitment to academic achievement, commitment to advocacy, and commandment of public speaking will earn the title of BGCNW Youth of the Year and will go on to compete at the state level. Two additional runners-up are chosen from amongst the candidates. The first is the Chris Cutri Memorial Scholarship Award, an honor bestowed on the candidate who possesses Chris’ qualities of a positive attitude, perseverance, strength in overcoming adversity, kindness and integrity, and sportsmanship (demonstrating fair play “win or lose” in the game of life). The second is awarded the Wilfred E. Jennings Leadership Award, an honor given in recognition of the candidate’s commitment to leadership, advocacy, and community service. The named Youth of the Year and runners-up receive scholarship funds for college.

The Supporting Programs

BGCNW’s educational enrichment, leadership, and workforce development programs work in tandem to provide youth with critical skills needed for success in the global marketplace; such as communication, public speaking, goal-setting, and teamwork. These programs provide curriculum, opportunities and mentorship designed to foster academic success, character and leadership development, and healthy lifestyles.

College Quest

BGCNW’s signature college readiness program which provides a range of services to guide Club members as they work toward high school graduation and prepare for post-secondary education and career success.

Civic Advocacy

Each year, Club staff and teen leaders visit the state capital to advocate on behalf of funding for programs and services that support positive youth outcomes.

Liberty Keystone Club

A premier teen leadership and community service program, the goal of which is to promote character and leadership qualities among Club teens; to provide awareness and impact in the areas of community service, academic success, career preparation and teen outreach.

Career Launch

A workforce development and career exploration program that utilizes virtual reality, workplace visits, job-shadowing opportunities, and other tools to expose youth to the abundance of job and career choices available across various industries in the global market.

Wilfred E. Jennings Summer Leadership Program

BGCNW’s signature job readiness program which provides teens the opportunity to build and enhance leadership skills, personal development, team building, money management skills, college readiness skills and career experience through a combination of practical lessons and on-the-job training as volunteer counselors with our Summer Adventure Camp.

The Candidates

Click on the name of the candidate to view their bio.

Roselyn C.



Will F.


Zayaan H.

2024 Chris Cutri Memorial Scholarship Award


Xio N.

2024 Wilfred E. Jennings Leadership Award

Kimberly C.


Grace G.

2024 BGCNW Youth of the Year


Molly M.


Haley P.

The Judges

Semi-Finals Judges

Click on the name of the judge to view their bio.

George D’Ambrosio

Licensed Real Estate Agent

Ginnel Real Estate


Nikita Ramos


News 12

Dan Singer


Robison Oil


Finals Judges

Aleida Frederico


Westchester Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Lawrence Gottlieb

Managing Director

Robert Martin Company

Judy Seigel

Senior Staff Attorney

Pro Bono Partners


Marcus Solis



Adam Stone


Examiner News

Become A Sponsor

To learn more about sponsoring Youth of the Year or one of the supporting programs, contact John Tunas at jtunas@bgcnw.com or 914-666-8069 x108.