Eight local teens compete for BGCS 2017 Youth of the Year title

Lizzie Erickson, Xavier Lopez, Debanhi Reyes, Daniela Aceves, Donna Persampire, Tatum Trainer, Casey Swann and Kyla Silas.

Eight candidates are in the running to become Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale 2017 Youth of the Year, the highest honor given to a club member.

The gala, presented by Tiffany & Bosco and Great American Title Agency, Inc., features silent and live auctions, dinner and paddle-raisers, all while celebrating the teen finalists, according to a press release.

Each of the finalists—Daniela Aceves, 17, of the Paiute Branch; Lizzie Erickson, 17, of the Vestar Branch; Xavier Lopez, 17, of the Mary Ellen & Robert McKee Branch; Donna Persampire, 15, of the Virginia G. Piper Branch; Debanhi Reyes, 16, of the Hartley & Ruth Barker Branch; Kyla Silas, 18, of the Peach Springs Branch; Casey (Kat) Swann, 15, of the Lehi Branch; and Tatum Trainer, 18, Thunderbirds Branch—will present their speeches before the winner is named at the end of the evening.

“All of these kids are amazing,” said Dr. Lisa Hurst, BGCS president and CEO said in the release. “Each presented their personal story of triumph and transformation to a five judge panel last week and then followed it up with one-on-one interviews for final judging.”

The newly crowned Youth of the Year will represent Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale throughout the year, receive a $5,000 scholarship made possible by Voya Financial and will advance on to the State Youth of the Year competition.

Voya Financial also awards $1,000 scholarships to the remaining seven Branch Youth of the Year winners, the release stated.

State finalists go on to compete in regional competitions where finalists advance to compete nationally in the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Youth of the Year competition.

Thousands of youth walk through Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale’s doors every day where programs prepare them to become 21st Century leaders, globally competitive graduates, innovative dream-makers and healthy game-changers.

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