During a night of tears and applause, Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County named Jermaine Lovely from the Smith & Moore Family Teen Center of Belle Glade the 2022 Palm Beach County Youth of the Year. The dinner held Friday, February 25, at Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa, 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. Lovely, a senior at Glades Central Community 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 Lovely received a four-year university scholarship with room and board from the Mary Alice Fortin Foundation.
“Becoming Youth of the Year is a dream. For this dream to come true it is a blessing. In the moment I can’t believe it,” said Lovely. “The Club has been a home for me. A place where I can go to help myself and grow as a person. Next, I will attend college at FAMU and play baseball.”
This was the 8th 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.
“The Youth of the Year Dinner is our mission moment and as such our favorite event,” said President & CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County Jaene Miranda. “The stories told on the stage tonight of triumph over challenges is proof that Boys & Girls Clubs are needed more than ever. Without our loving staff and award-winning programs, many of our teen members would not have the needed support to graduate high school on time and 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 2022 Palm Beach County Youth of the Year Finalists were Kaleb Rolle from Florence De George Boys & Girls Clubs of West Palm Beach, Marissa Alteus from Marjorie S. Fisher Boys & Girls Club of West Palm Beach, Alysa Williamson from Max M. Fisher Boys & Girls Club of Rivera Beach, Aryatha Dornezon from Boys & Girls Club of Delray Beach, Jean Dalmacy from Boys & Girls Club of Boca Raton, Jermaine Lovely from Smith & Moore Family Teen Center of Belle Glade and Valencia Jean 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 the Club’s advisory board members. 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 is powered by Comcast. This year’s Great Futures Champion was The Mary Alice Fountain Foundation. Senior Sponsors included Office Depot, C. Kenneth & Laura Baxter Foundation and Cresset Capital, Debbie & Bob Dunkin. Joining them were Junior Sponsors Olympia & Brooks Bishop, Carrier, The John A. Moran Charitable Trust, Wilder & Jason Regalbuto. Sophomore Sponsors are Ann-Britt & Christian Angle, Ed Morse Automotive Group, Mary & Mark Freitas, Christine & Bob Stiller, Taylor Family Foundation. Freshman Sponsors included Fischer, Sylvia James, Norwest Equity Partners and Lisa Russo.
Youth of the Year Table sponsors were BMO Wealth Management, Florida Power & Light, Florida Virtual School, Dr. Brown-Graham, Inlet Private Wealth, JFO Group, Inc., The Kress Family, Nicolette & Charles Lerman, Moss & Associates and The William H. Pitt Foundation. Future Youth of the Year Club Sponsors were Klif Gehring, Carol & Tom Kirchhoff, Independent Seafoods and Tropical Shipping. The Club Viewing Party Sponsor was Gardens Wealth Management. Underwriters included Carla Cove, The Gardens Mall, Joan & Avery Klann, Moss & Associates, Nicole & Keith Williams, Christine & Bob Stiller.
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.
Click the button below to watch the entire program: