The Allure on the
Lake, in Chesterton, was the scene of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater
Northwest Indiana’s Youth of the Year Reception celebrating nine members
chosen to represent their clubs. Duneland Club member Karina Martinez was
named the final Youth of the Year for Porter County.
Karina will receive
a $2,500 scholarship for her higher education pursuits.
member of the Merrillville Club was named Youth of the Year for Lake County.
Youth of the Year
celebrates teens whose Club experience empowers them to find their voice and
achieve success through after-school experiences rooted in what matters to
them most - choice, access and passion. Boys & Girls Clubs’ Youth of the
Year program is an avenue whereby young people showcase their talents and
achievements, share their hopes and dreams, and work toward a bright and
positive future. Candidates emerge through year-round recognition programs
in their local Clubs. They progress through, first, local and then state and
regional events, culminating in a week-long celebration in Washington, D.C.
where one youth, nationwide, is named National Youth of the Year --
the highest honor bestowed upon a Club member.
This year, nominees
included: Phoebe Ruiz (Cedar Lake Club), Karina Martinez (Duneland Club),
Samaria Adams (Hammond Club), Marcus Steel (John Will Anderson - Gary Club),
Lily Thole (Lake Station Club), Azariah Avery (Merrillville Club), Bryanna
Bass (Portage Club), Kale Nelson (South Haven Club), and Will Frost
family were at the reception and quite excited as she was named Youth of the
Year for Porter County. “I have watched Karina grow into an exceptional
young woman,” said Nancy Duran, Karina’s mother. “The Club is helping her
grow in all aspects of her life. Through good times, and bad, the Club
always is a constant for her. Karina is learning that to achieve the best in
oneself, you need to help others find their true best. She now realizes
there is no limit to what she can achieve. I thank the Club for helping
Karina to see the best in herself.”
Karina will now
prepare for the Indiana State Youth of the Year Competition which will take
place April 13-14, 2018, in Indianapolis. They will be competing against 33
other Club members from around the state.
Boys & Girls Clubs
of Greater Northwest Indiana believes every child deserves the opportunity
to be successful. “The Youth of the Year participants embody the values,
leadership, service, academic excellence and healthy lifestyles; they
exemplify the critical impact a Boys & Girls Club can have on the lives of
young people,” said Ryan Smiley, president of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater
“This year also is
an exciting year as we announce, for the last time, a Youth of the Year for
Porter County and one for Lake County. As we are now one organization, in
2018-2019 we will announce only one candidate to represent our Greater
Northwest Indiana area.”
young people shine daily at our Clubs,” said Ron Ranta, Duneland Club
Director. “Karina is one of many amazing individuals, and she exemplifies
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana’s mission.” Ranta added.
Boys & Girls Clubs
are open after school and provide great places for youth in grades K-12 to
meet friends and have fun while in a safe, supervised environment. Clubs are
open during holidays and in the summer. Annual membership is only $35.
For information on
membership, volunteer opportunities, or to make a tax-deductible donation,
please contact your local Club by calling (219) 464-7282 or visiting