2024 Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County Youth of the Year


Amidst tears and applause, Christian Armstrong from Florence De George Boys & Girls Club of West Palm Beach was named the 2024 Palm Beach County Youth of the Year by Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County during an evening of celebration held at The Kravis Center West Palm Beach on Thursday, February 29. The event marked the organization’s commitment to empowering young individuals to reach their full potential. Finalists from the seven clubs with teen programs vied for the county title, with Armstrong, a Senior at Palm Beach Lakes High School, clinching victory after rounds of essays, interviews, and speeches. All finalists were awarded four-year Florida Prepaid College Scholarships, while Armstrong also received a four-year university scholarship with room and board from the Mary Alice Fortin Foundation.

This marked the 10th Anniversary Youth of the Year Dinner for Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County, known for its tradition of surprises for finalists and attendees. This year, Coke Florida delighted the Youth of the Year finalists with new Chromebook laptops, ensuring their readiness for college. Additionally, the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation and K12 Print presented each finalist with brand-new iPads. Office Depot contributed brand new suitcases and school supplies, setting the finalists up for success.

“The Youth of the Year Dinner stands as a pivotal event for Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County, symbolizing a significant milestone in our mission,” remarked Jaene Miranda, President & CEO of the organization. “The heartening tales of success we witness tonight reaffirm the indispensable role our Clubs play in shaping the lives of young individuals. Without the unwavering dedication of our staff and the excellence of our programs, many of our teenage members would lack the guidance to graduate high school on time, armed with aspirations for their futures.”

Youth of the Year is a premier recognition program by Boys & Girls Clubs of America, honoring the exceptional achievements of Club members nationwide. The Palm Beach County Youth of the Year competes for the state title annually, with the Florida Youth of the Year advancing to a national regional competition. Ultimately, a Youth of the Year is chosen to represent Boys & Girls Clubs across the United States.

The 2024 Palm Beach County Youth of the Year Finalists were Christian Armstrong from Florence De George Boys & Girls Clubs of West Palm Beach, Brantley Jordine from Marjorie S. Fisher Boys & Girls Club of West Palm Beach, Valerie Williamson from Max M. Fisher Boys & Girls Club of Rivera Beach, Xavier Williams from Boys & Girls Club of Delray Beach, Ezai Dieujuste from Boys & Girls Club of Boca Raton, Claudette Sylvain from Smith & Moore Family Teen Center of Belle Glade, and Nevaeh Baker from Neil S. Hirsch Family Boys & Girls Club of Wellington.

The finalists were chosen to represent their Club through a preliminary competition involving a comprehensive application, three essays, three letters of recommendation, and an interview before a panel of judges comprising Hollani Davis, Tammy Fields, Tyler Cameron, and Stacy Volnick. Three-minute speeches delivered live at the dinner served as the final scoring factor to determine the Palm Beach County title winner.

In commemoration of the 10th Anniversary Youth of the Year Dinner, the event featured a “Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County Youth of the Year Hall of Fame,” showcasing Youth of the Years from 2015-2023.

Special gratitude is extended to 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, K12 Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation, Michelle & Michael Hagerty, and CBS12 News. The Mary Alice Fountain Foundation was honored as this year’s Great Futures Champion. Senior Sponsors included Office Depot, C. Kenneth & Laura Baxter Foundation, and the Robert I. Goldman Foundation. Joining them were Junior Sponsors Olympia & Brooks Bishop, Carrier, and Wilder & Jason Regalbuto. Sophomore Sponsors included Architects Design Collaborative, Mary & Mark Freitas, Nicolette & Charles Lerman, and Norwest Equity Partners. Freshman Sponsors included Maschmeyer Concrete Company, Coca-Cola Beverages Florida, Palm Beach State College, and Dr. Shanteria Dixon.

Table sponsors for Youth of the Year included The William H. Pitt Foundation, Klif Gehring, Simone & Kerry Vickar Family Foundation, Dr. Colette Brown-Graham, JDA Insurance Group, Gardens Wealth Management, The Kress Family, Florida Virtual School, JFO Group, Inc., and BMO Wealth Management. Future Youth of the Year Club Sponsors were Tropical Shipping, Marjorie S. Fisher Fund, Elizabeth DeBrule, Robert I. Goldman Foundation, Inlet Private Wealth, and Tom & Carol Kirchoff. Club Viewing Party Sponsors were the Robert I. Goldman Foundation and Tropical Smoothie-Loxahatchee Groves. Underwriters included CBS12 News, Lisa Russo, The Gardens Mall, Carla Cove, Sephora-The Gardens Mall, Illustrated Properties Charities, Nicole & Keith Williams, and Toshiba.

The Youth of the Year Dinner was broadcasted live on Facebook and YouTube, allowing those unable to attend in person to participate. All seven Clubs with teen programs hosted watch parties, inspiring and motivating younger Club members to aspire to become future Youth of the Year finalists.

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