FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APRIL 12, 2016
Media Contact: Matthew Benson, 602-570-7493
Arizona teens named Boys & Girls Clubs
“Youth of the Year”
Winners selected among 8 candidates for 2016 honors
Phoenix, AZ –Paola Bustamante, of Tucson, and Meghan Mangrum, of the West Valley, were honored today as Boys & Girls Club State “Youth of the Year” at the 15th Annual Arizona Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs Legislative Breakfast, presented by Fiesta Bowl Charities.
Attorney General Mark Brnovich attended and provided welcoming remarks at the Youth of the Year ceremony in downtown Phoenix. The keynote address was delivered by Ann Meyers Drysdale, one of the first women inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. On-hand for the ceremony were student nominees and their families, Boys & Girls Club supporters, State and local officials and other dignitaries.
Paola, 17, has been a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson for the last 11 years. She was selected Youth of the Year from among a panel of highly-qualified finalists from across Arizona. Meghan, 18, attends the Luke AFB Youth Program, and was honored as Military Youth of the Year from among the State’s five military Clubs. Both teens were honored for their exceptional accomplishments in overcoming adversity, serving their community and achieving academic excellence. Each will receive scholarship support from national sponsors Disney, the University of Phoenix, Toyota and the Taco Bell Foundation.
The national Youth of the Year recognition program is the cornerstone of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Character and Leadership Development core program area. Youth of the Year celebrates service to the Club, community values, academic performance, moral character, life goals, poise and public-speaking ability.
These values are embodied by each of the Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year candidates recognized today, and most especially by awardees Paola and Meghan.
Paola graduated from Tucson High School a semester early, while maintaining a 3.34 GPA and a night job. She also is the proud recipient of the President’s Award for Academic Achievement. Paola plans to pursue a degree in political science and paralegal studies from Arizona State University, and would like to become an attorney.
Meghan maintains a 3.59 GPA at Westview High School, in Avondale. She is a member of the National Honor Society and has volunteered more than 100 hours of public service. Meghan plans to attend Northern Arizona University in order to pursue a career in elementary education.
Other Boys & Girls Club candidates for recognition today included: Arris Austin, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale; Serena Mena, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Casa Grande Valley; Tacia Samaniego, Boys &Girls Clubs of the East Valley; Francisco Walema, Boys & Girls Clubs of Aha Macav; Maria Walker, Boys & Girls Club of White Mountain Apache and Arianna Williams, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix.
Participating judges for the Youth of the Year award were: Jay Tinsley, Director of Student Financial Aid, University of Phoenix; Jose Moreno, Director of Community Relations & Charitable Giving, Fiesta Bowl; Maria Brink, National Customer Relations Manager, Toyota; and Stan Goligoski, Executive Director, Yavapai County Education Service Agency.
Presented by Disney, the National Youth of the Year program is designed to promote and recognize service to the community and Club, academic performance and contributions to family and spiritual life. State winners advance to regional competitions. Six regional winners and one military winner will ultimately compete to be named National Youth of the Year, which includes a $25,000 scholarship that may be renewed up to four times annually for a total value of $100,000.