Boys & Girls Club of Malibu honors four outstanding students

Amber Vanderbilt (left) (community member); Adam Sabet (BGCM board member); BGCM students Irina, Emily, Anthony and Diego; Stacey Rouse (SMMUSD school board member); BGCM Students Irina, Emily, Anthony and Diego; Marilyn Figueroa (BGCM Wellness Advisory Board); Marianne Riggins (Malibu City Council); and Astrid Hertz (community member and donor). Photo by Samantha Bravo/TMT.

Youth of The Year provided an evening full of inspiration, motivation, and leadership

Four outstanding students — Diego, Anthony, Irina and Emily — shared their personal story of adversity, goals for the future, and ways the Boys & Girls Club of Malibu (BGCM) has impacted their lives during the Youth of The Year competition on Friday, Feb. 3. The event provided inspiration, motivation, and leadership. The winner, Anthony, will move on to the LA County-wide Youth of the Year event.

Judges and representatives include Jennifer Smith (SMMUSD school board member), Alicia Mignano (SMMUSD school board member), Amber Vanderbilt (community member), Adam Sabet (BGCM board member), Stacey Rouse (SMMUSD school board member), Marilyn Figueroa (BGCM Wellness Advisory Board), Marianne Riggins (Malibu City Council), Astrid Hertz (community member and donor), Austin Cyr (representative from County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath’s office). 

Student Irina thanked the BGCM and the wellness center for their guidance. 

“BGCM is my past, present and future,” Irina said. 

Rouse congratulated the four students for their speeches.

“Each of you really brought yourselves and it was delightful,” Rouse said. “You [all] really uplifted us.”

Austin Cyr (representative from County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath’s office), attended the event and thanked the organizers and students for their empowering speeches. 

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LA County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath representative Austin Cyr attended the event and thanked the organizers and students for their empowering speeches. Photo by Samantha Bravo/TMT.

“Thank you truly for your courage, your vulnerability, and your commitment to improving your community in each of your own unique way,” Cyr said. “The time to lead is now, whatever you’re working on, give it your best, give it your all, be proud of the work no matter the outcome and continue leading today, keep it going, it’s truly inspiting hearing all your stories.” 

After speeches, the judges took time to thank each students and announced the winner, Anthony. 

“This is most special and important program that we run here because it highlights the individual stories, achievements, their future goals and I’m happy to keep on doing it,” Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Malibu Kasey Earnest said.

Established in 1947, Youth of the Year is BGCA’s premier recognition program for club members, promoting service to club, community and family; academic success; strong moral character; life goals; and poise and public speaking ability. The program is most effective when used as a year-round tool for fostering young people’s character, personal growth and leadership qualities. Local Clubs recognize members ages 14 to 18 as Youth of the Month winners and select a Youth of the Year, who then participates in state competitions. State winners each receive a $1,000 scholarship and participate in regional competitions. Five regional winners each receive a $10,000 scholarship and compete on the national level. The National Youth of the Year receives up to an additional $50,000 scholarship and is installed by the President of the United States.

The article was updated online to correct Irina’s name.