Chesterton Tribune



Karina Martinez is final Boys and Girls Club Porter County Youth of Year

Back To Front Page


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.

Azariah Avery, 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 (Valparaiso Club).

Karina’s proud 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 Northwest Indiana.

“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.”

“These incredible 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


Posted 3/9/2018




Search This Site:

Custom Search