Youth of the Year winners named by Arizona Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs

Both Marena Sever, pictured above, and Dylan Bradley Voy have been named Youth of the Year by the Arizona Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs. (Submitted photo)

Marena Sever and Dylan Bradley Voy were awarded state Youth of the Year honors at the annual breakfast organized by the Arizona Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs and presented by Fiesta Bowl Charities.

Marena Sever at the recent Breakfast organized by the Arizona Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs and presented by Fiesta Bowl Charities. (Submitted photo)

Miss Sever, from Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale, was named the 2018 Arizona State Youth of the Year. Mr. Voy, from Luke AFB Youth Program, received the 2018 Arizona State Military Youth of the Year honors.

Selected from a field of 10 candidates from Clubs around the state, Miss Sever and Mr. Voy each were awarded $5,000 in scholarships and will go on to compete at the regional level in their respective categories.

Regional winners will go on to Washington, D.C., with the chance of being named Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Youth of the Year.

“At the Club, I was able to leave my problems at the door,” said Miss Sever, speaking of her 10 years as a member. “Without the Club, I wouldn’t have had the stability I needed, I wouldn’t have my love for the arts, and I wouldn’t have any of the close friendships I have developed there.”

Mr. Voy thanked his parents for the role they played in his life, rescuing him from birth parents with a drug addiction.

“I thank (Club staff) for their everlasting contributions to my character as a person. This has proved to me that if you want it with all your heart, no matter what position you may be in, it will come in a nice form of newfound hope and all you have to do is grab it,” he said.

All of the candidates previously competed at local levels to represent their home club and then their Boys & Girls Club organization before moving on to the state competition.

Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Youth of the Year Program is a premier youth development recognition experience celebrating academic success, examples of leadership and overall Club involvement. Teens prepared three essays, participated in multiple rounds of interviews with panels of judges and delivered a three-minute speech highlighting their Club experience.

Youth of the Year judges included Maria Brink, Toyota; Peggy Eyanson, Fiesta Bowl; Trisha Smith, Topgolf and Christopher Wright, The Hartford Financial Services Group.

The Scottsdale Independent is published monthly and mailed to 75,000 homes and businesses in Scottsdale.

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