The Boys & Girls Club’s Youth of the Year program has been in full swing for a few weeks. As a program, Youth of the Year is designed to help our Club members develop their leadership skills. Club members engage in activities that get them more involved with their community and peers. As Club members have been growing within the program and learning what it means to be a Youth of the Year, one Club member in particular has been working tirelessly to prepare for the Wisconsin State Youth of the Year Competition.
Elizabeth (Lizzie) Ibarra was selected as our Club’s 2021-2022 Youth of the Year at our Celebrate Great Futures annual awards event last May. Lizzie earned this title through her participation in Club programs, leadership, and devotion to what it means to be an outstanding Boys & Girls Club member. This was only the beginning of Lizzie’s growth as a Youth of the Year. Over the past couple months, she has been involved in several opportunities to promote the Club. These opportunities included helping out with special events, and even speaking with Club supporters about who she is and why the Boys & Girls Club is important to her.
While juggling the responsibilities of representing the Boys & Girls Club, completing high school coursework, and working, Lizzie also spent many hours preparing for the Wisconsin State Youth of the Year competition. This competition consists of 14 youth total from Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the state, one of whom is selected to represent Wisconsin at the regional level for the Youth of the Year competition. Lizzie worked very hard and successfully completed an application, resume, cover letter, and three essays. From there, she crafted a speech and prepared for an interview that would take place at the state competition. Although this competition is traditionally held as an in-person event, this year’s state competition was held virtually on March 11. We did our absolute best to make sure it was a special day for Lizzie, and she did a fantastic job competing as well as embracing the journey as a whole.
Regardless of the outcome of the local and state level competitions, just the experience alone of being a Youth of the Year is one of the greatest. You could argue that this is because one of our Club members has the opportunity to be in the spotlight for almost an entire year. However, the biggest reward is really the personal growth that Club member gets to experience throughout the entire process. We are so proud of Lizzie and all of the hard work she has put into her role this year!
To learn more about Lizzie as our Youth of the Year, check out the announcement article from earlier last year. For more information about our Club programs or how to sign up, visit our Become a Member page!