VISTA — Russell Wilson recently became Youth of the Year at the Boys & Girls Club of Vista. Despite much adversity at a young age, Russell is a straight A student, a community volunteer, karate student, and a musician whose parents call him a son who is every parent’s dream.
When asked what the Boys & Girls Club meant to him, 13-year-old Russell replied, “In the eight years I’ve been at the club, I have definitely made lifelong friends. I have built many character values from the karate program here such as honor, humility, respect, and many of the responsibilities life will throw at you. The friends I have at the Boys & Girls Club of Vista are as much of a family to me as my actual relatives. The people have raised me like they would a son, nephew or brother.”
All club members can benefit from the Youth of the Year program, which promotes and celebrates service to the club, community and family; academic performance; moral character; life goals; poise and public speaking ability. Local clubs recognize members who were Youth of the Month and select a Youth of the Year who then participates in a local competition. State winners, who each receive a $1,000 scholarship, then participate in regional competitions. Five regional winners receive $10,000 scholarship, an engraved plaque and compete on the national level. The National Youth of the Year receives an additional $15,000 scholarship and is instilled by the President of the United States. Reader’s Digest Foundation has sponsored the Youth of the Year program for more than 60 years.
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