Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County Names Alivia Latimore 2020 Youth of the Year
On Friday, February 28, Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County named Alivia Latimore Youth of the Year. Guests gathered at Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa to celebrate the positive impact Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County has on local youth by guiding them and helping them achieve their post-high school goals. The event raised more than $250,000 for Club youth.
Latimore is 16 years old and has been a member of Florence De George Boys & Girls Club in West Palm Beach for six years. Currently, she is a junior at Palm Beach Lakes High School and is involved in numerous programs such as National Honor Society, Career Bound and Keystone, where she is the president.
“I will continue to work to have an impact on children’s lives and continue with the Boys & Girls Clubs until my dreams are met to inspire other children by making a difference at my Boys & Girls Club and potentially Palm Beach County as a whole,” said a tearful Latimore.
Seven teens representing eligible Boys & Girls Clubs in Palm Beach County competed for the top honor. The audience was left in tears as they listened to the moving stories of the teens’ successes and obstacles. Thanks to the generosity of the Mary Alice Fortin Foundation, all nominees were awarded four-year Florida Prepaid College Scholarships with Latimore as the overall county winner receiving a University Scholarship plus room and board. All of the finalists will attend the State Youth of the Year competition to watch Latimore represent Palm Beach County.
A judging panel – made up of Jon DeLuca, Trustee of Fred A. DeLuca Foundation; Kiwana S. Howell, Director Extended Learning Program, School District of Palm Beach County; David Donten, Trustee of C. Kenneth and Laura Baxter Foundation, Inc.; Mary O’Connor, Director of Organizational Development, Boys & Girls Clubs of America; and Tammy Fields, Director, Palm Beach County Youth Services – decided on the winner based on the participants’ speeches made during the dinner as the final scoring factor.
“There is no better event that demonstrates what Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County means to so many of our youth. Our Clubs are much more than an after school program, it’s a pathway to success and a proven way to break the cycle of poverty in Palm Beach County,” said Jaene Miranda, CEO & President of Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County. She continued, “These seven amazing Club members are the perfect example as to how our STEM programs, homework assistance with certified teachers and career and college readiness programs are changing the lives of more than 9,400 children every year.”
With the provided 4-year university scholarship, plus room and board included, Latimore plans on attending the University of Central Florida and wants to be a clinical child psychologist.
During the event, several former Youth of the Year winners and Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County alumni spoke of the positive impact the Clubs continue to have on their lives. Last year’s Youth of the Year, Kalayah Samuels, currently attends Palm Beach State College and is pursuing a degree in human services. She plans to transfer to Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. 2018 Youth of the Year winner David Wooten also spoke. He’s a sophomore at Florida Atlantic University with a major in biology. Je’Cynthia Nonar is the 2017 Youth of the Year and is a junior at Howard University in Washington, DC, where she’s studying business marketing. Former NBA Player and Club alumni Marcus Hubbard also shared his inspirational memories of his Club experience during the event.
Finalists this year were Neville Brown from Max M. Fisher Boys & Girls Club of Riviera Beach, Kaulina Desty from Boys & Girls Club of Boca Raton, J’aliyah Jenkins from Marjorie S. Fisher Boys & Girls Club of West Palm Beach, Widnie Marcelin from Boys & Girls Club of Delray Beach, Teyonna Smith from Neil S. Hirsch Family Boys & Girls Club of Wellington and Sulvamette Sylvain from Smith & Moore Family Teen Center of Belle Glade.
Youth of the Year Dinner chairpersons were Olympia Brooks and Wilder Regalbuto. Honorary Chairmen included the Honorable Danielle H. Moore and the Honorable Lesly S. Smith of the Mary Alice Fortin Foundation. They are the donors who made the life-changing scholarships a reality for these amazing youth.
Alex Price, National Director of Community Relations for Office Depot, served as emcee. Committee members were Elizabeth DeBrule, Katherine Kress, Lisa Russo, Laura Wissa, Timothy Bryant, Dr. Nika Coleman-Ferrell, David DeGasperis, Dr. Jeff Fenster and Ellen Ptashek.
The Mary Alice Fortin Foundation was the Great Futures Champion sponsor. Publix Super Markets Charities was the Presenting Sponsor. Comcast was the Senior Sponsor, and C. Kenneth & Laura Baxter Foundation, Olympia and Brooks Bishop, Wilder and Jason Regalbuto and Office Depot were Junior Sponsors. Sophomore Sponsors included Gehring Insurance, JCPenney Communities Foundation, Serena & Lily and William Wrigley Jr.
Sandra & David Mack Foundation, Maschmeyer Concrete, The Halperin, Liebman & Passeroff Families, RISE and Tropical Shipping were the Corporate Sponsors.
The Youth of the Year Table Sponsors included Carrier, Comerica, The DeGasperis Family, Florida Power & Light Company, Florida Virtual School, Nicolette Goldfarb, Inlet Private Wealth, JFO Group Inc., The Kress Family, The William H. Pitt Foundation, Raul Ocampo & Associates and Simone and Kerry Vickar Family Foundation. BMO Wealth Management, Elizabeth De Brule, Debbie and Robert Dunkin, Sylvia James, Marx Family Foundation, Palm Beach State College, Lisa Russo, Toshiba and Nievera Williams Design – Nicole and Keith Williams were the Table Sponsors.
Underwriters included Christine and Bob Stiller, ASD Surfaces and Carla Cove. Media Sponsor was Jupiter Magazine and the event partners included LuLuMAC, Gent Row, Parisi Events, and Toastmasters International.
Youth of the Year is Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s leading youth recognition program that celebrates members’ outstanding contributions to their family, school community, and their Club, as well as overcoming personal challenges and obstacles. It is the highest honor a Boys & Girls Club member can receive. Each year, Club members participate in the national competition, which begins at the local level. Judges evaluate finalists on a variety of categories, including leadership skills, moral character, academic performance, and service to their community.