YOUTH OF THE YEAR
The Boys & Girls Clubs of America Youth of the Year Program is an annual initiative to foster young people’s personal growth and leadership qualities, and the highest honor a Boys & Girls Club member can achieve. Greenwich’s Youth of the Year program was established in 1969 to recognize club members who give back to their club and community. Recipients of the honor have demonstrated service to club, community, and family; academic success; strong moral character; life goals; and poise and public speaking ability.
The Youth of the Year honorees are shining examples and living proof that great futures start at the Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich. Winners go on to vie for the Connecticut Youth of the Year title and then participate in a regional and national competition. Each year a celebratory dinner is held where guests gather to witness the announcement of the winner.
Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich has celebrated two national and four state level winners:
1976 Youth of the Year, State of Connecticut Youth of the Year, and National Youth of the Year
1991 Youth of the Year (1st female) and State of Connecticut Youth of the Year
2018 Youth of the Year and State of Connecticut Youth of the Year
2021 Youth of the Year
“I am grateful for the staff’s help and inspiration throughout the years. Being a member of the Club has shaped my character, and made me who I am today,” said Damarys.
The opportunities offered at the Boys & Girls Club helped Damarys make a difference outside of her community. Her leadership role in Keystone, for example, led to a volunteer opportunity with Habitat for Humanity, which led to a trip to Oaxaca, Mexico, where she helped at a group home for 20 children whose parents cannot provide for them.
“I spent four out of the six days I was there building a foundation to expand the home for these kids,” she said. “I also got the chance to tour the city of Oaxaca, which was an incredible experience.”
Damarys Aceituno, 2021 Youth of the Year