Missouri students compete for Boys & Girls Club title, scholarship
COLUMBIA - Eleven Missouri teens are competing for the Boys & Girls Club of America's State Youth of the Year title Wednesday.
Youth of the Year is the highest honor from the Boys & Girls Club. The student who wins the title receives up to $50,000 in scholarships.
"They're recognized regarding their academic success, community service, and overall character development and citizenship. So this is an opportunity for them to come together and compete at the state level, and then from here, the winner will go on to the regional competition," said Jefferson City Boys & Girls Club Director Christopher Sutton.
Teenage club members from across Missouri traveled to the state capital and enjoyed some bowling and rock climbing before their presentations. The selected students will each present a speech to a panel of Jefferson City community leaders explaining why they should be. The panelists will determine which nominee represents Missouri and moves on to the regional competition.
Battle High junior Miles Gibson, 17, has served as an active member at the Boys & Girls of Columbia for 10 years. Gibson said his involvement with the organization changed him for the better.
"It's made me a better person. It taught me leadership skills. That's how I'm so confident - now, I'm very outspoken. It's taught me a lot," Gibson said.
The state winner for Missouri will receive a $5,000 scholarship.