During a night of tears and applause, Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County named Alonza Lloyd from Neil S. Hirsch Family Boys & Girls Club of Wellington the 2023 Palm Beach County Youth of the Year. The dinner held Friday, February 3, at The Hilton West Palm Beach, celebrated Boys & Girls Clubs’ mission of enabling young people to reach their full potential. Finalists from the seven Clubs with teen programs competed for the county title and the right to compete for the state title. Lloyd, a Senior at Palm Beach Central High School, was named the winner after several rounds of essays, interviews, and speeches. All finalists received a four-year Florida Prepaid College Scholarship, while Lloyd received a four-year university scholarship with room and board from the Mary Alice Fortin Foundation.
This was the 9th annual Youth of the Year Dinner for Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County. Traditionally the event provides surprises for the finalists and the audience. This year was no different as Coke Florida surprised the Youth of the Year finalists with new Chromebook laptops to ensure they are ready for their college careers. Along with receiving laptops, the finalists were also surprised with brand-new tablets, thanks to the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation and K12 Print.
” The Youth of the Year Dinner is Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County’s mission defining moment and it is our most cherished occasion,” said Jaene Miranda, President & CEO for Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County. “The moving tales of success shared tonight affirm that Boys & Girls Clubs are increasingly essential for youth. Were it not for the devoted staff and premier programs, many of our teenager members would never had the encouragement to graduate from high school on time with a plan for the future.”
Youth of the Year is a Boys & Girls Clubs of America premier recognition program, celebrating the extraordinary achievements of Club members across the country. Each year, The Palm Beach County Youth of the Year competes for the state title. The Florida Youth of the Year moves forward in the competition to compete in a national regional competition. Ultimately a Youth of the Year for the country is chosen to represent all Boys & Girls Clubs across the U.S.
The 2023 Palm Beach County Youth of the Year Finalists were Kelvin Rolle from Florence De George Boys & Girls Clubs of West Palm Beach, Kimberly Pierre from Marjorie S. Fisher Boys & Girls Club of West Palm Beach, Eric Wilson from Max M. Fisher Boys & Girls Club of Rivera Beach, Frank Zamor from Boys & Girls Club of Delray Beach, Lynnshelsie Antoine from Boys & Girls Club of Boca Raton, Jada Lovely from Smith & Moore Family Teen Center of Belle Glade and Alonza Lloyd from Neil S. Hirsch Family Boys & Girls Club of Wellington.
The finalists were selected to represent their Club by a preliminary competition that included a comprehensive application, three essays, three letters of recommendation, and an interview in front of a panel of judges made up of Hollani Davis, Glenda Sheffield, Ed Dunn, Ava Parker, and Geeta Loach- Jacobsom. Three-minute speeches presented live at the dinner served as the final scoring factor to determine the Palm Beach County title winner.
A special thank you goes to the Youth of the Year Chairmen, Olympia Bishop and Wilder Regalbuto and Honorary Chairmen Hon. Danielle H. Moore and Hon. Lesly Smith.
The Youth of the Year Dinner was presented by Publix Super Markets Charities and, K12 Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation . This year’s Great Futures Champion was The Mary Alice Fountain Foundation. Senior Sponsors included Office Depot, C. Kenneth & Laura Baxter Foundation, Robert I. Goldman Foundation, and Comcast. Joining them were Junior Sponsors Olympia & Brooks Bishop, Carrier, and Wilder & Jason Regalbuto. Sophomore Sponsors are Architects Design Collaborative, Mary & Mark Freitas, Ed Morse Automotive Group, and Norwest Equity Partners. Freshman Sponsors included Ann-Britt & Christian Angle, Toshiba, Maschmeyer Concrete Company, Coca-Cola Beverages Florida, Palm Beach State College, and Lisa Russo.
Youth of the Year Table sponsors were BMO Wealth Management, Florida Power & Light, Dr. Brown-Graham, MD & Alvin Graham, Inlet Private Wealth, The Kress Family, Nicolette & Charles Lerman, Florida Virtual School, JFO Group, Inc., Simone & Kerry Vickar Family Foundation, and The William H. Pitt Foundation. Future Youth of the Year Club Sponsors were Tropical Shipping, Ward Damon PL, The Battle’s End Collective, Marjorie S. Fisher Fund, Elizabeth DeBrule, Robert I. Goldman Foundation, and Tom & Carol Kirchoff. The Club Viewing Party Sponsor was Gardens Wealth Management, Robert I. Goldman Foundation, and Tropical Smoothie- Loxahatchee Groves. Underwriters included Christine & Bob Stiller, Comcast, Lisa Russo, Sephora, The Gardens Mall, Distrikt Barber Shop, Carla Cove, Sandra & Brenton Bissell, The Gardens Mall, Illustrated Properties Charities, and Nicole & Keith Williams.
The Youth of the Year Dinner was shown live on Facebook and Youtube for those to watch that could not attend in person. All seven Clubs with teen programs held watch parties to excite and motivate younger Club members to be future Youth of the Year finalists.