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Derrick Harnish is BGCB’s 2017 Youth of the Year

BRATTLEBORO—In a heartfelt ceremony on Feb. 8 at The Boys & Girls Club of Brattleboro (BGCB) on Flat Street, Derrick Harnish was named the club’s 2017 Youth of the Year.

Harnish is a true example of an extraordinary young man. At age 16, he has just been selected to compete against other Boys & Girls Club members for the Vermont Youth of the Year title and a $1,000 scholarship.

As the Youth of the Year for The Boys & Girls Clubs of Brattleboro, Harnish is among hundreds of local youth across the country recognized by Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) for his sound character, leadership skills and willingness to give back to the community.

Being named Youth of the Year is the highest honor a Boys & Girls Club member can receive. The title recognizes outstanding high achievement in the areas of academic excellence, healthy lifestyles, leadership, character and service as well as obstacles overcome.

Harnish is a junior at Brattleboro Union High School and, after high school, he is looking forward to continuing to his education and plans on studying political science and writing.

In the ceremony attended by family, friends and members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Brattleboro, he was not only honored to be named the local Youth of the Year winner, and he also received a $500 scholarship, provided by GPI Construction.

“Derrick is the kind of kid that Youth of the Year is made for. He works hard, is a role model to his peers and younger kids and wants to help make his community a better place. He is someone who is always asking how can I help, what can I do, then rolls up his sleeves and makes stuff happen. All while having a great sense of humor and positive attitude.” said BGCB Executive Director Ricky Davidson.

If Harnish wins at the state competition in April, he will compete this summer in New York City for the title of Northeast Region Youth of the Year and an additional $10,000 scholarship. The five regional winners will advance to Washington, D.C., in September 2017 to compete for the title of BGCA’s National Youth of the Year.

The National Youth of the Year receives an additional $15,000 college scholarship and is installed by the President in an Oval Office ceremony.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #395 (Wednesday, February 15, 2017).

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