Greenwich teen wins State Youth of the Year honor

Domenica Echeverria

Domenica Echeverria

Domenica Echeverria a member of the Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich has been named the 2018 Boys & Girls Club of America State of Connecticut Youth of the Year. The Youth of the Year title is a prestigious honor bestowed upon an exemplary young person in recognition of leadership, service, academic excellence and dedication to live a healthy lifestyle.

The last time a Club member from Greenwich was named State of Connecticut Youth of the Year was in 1991 — twenty-seven years ago. Deelia Wadsworth, now the Club’s Education and Volunteer Coordinator was the first female to be named the Greenwich Club’s Youth of the Year in 1991. Deelia said, “I am so proud of Domenica and all that she had accomplished, she too is the best representation of what our Club can do!”

In February, Domenica was named the 2018 Youth of the Year by Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich, selected from among seven outstanding finalists. The Youth of the Year program honors our most awe-inspiring young people on their path to great futures and encourages all kids to lead, succeed and inspire.

On Wednesday, April 4, Domenica went to the Boys & Girls Club Connecticut Youth of the Year competition to vie for the state title and won. She will now move on to compete for a $5,000 college scholarship from Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Don Palmer, Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich‘s Director of Programs said, “This is unbelievable! I’m so happy for her and her parents. Domenica is a GREAT representative for the Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich.”

Domenica has been a member of the Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich since she was six years old. It was the best place for her to spend time with her friends playing, reading and learning how to swim. Domenica took swim lessons at the Club and currently works part time as a lifeguard. It is important to her parents that Domenica does well in school. Her younger sister looks up to her. “Being Youth of the Year is the Club’s greatest honor to me. In every day there are 1,440 minutes. That means I have 1,440 daily opportunities to make a positive impact on my peers, sister and younger Boys & Girls Club members. My Club gave me the opportunity to change my own life, as well as others.”

Domenica attends a private school in Stamford, on scholarship, and maintains a high 4.0 grade point average. It is important to her that she do very well so that she can become a cardiothoracic surgeon. She’s fascinated with becoming an Heart Surgeon and fell in love with the concept after watching an episode of a television show called Grey’s Anatomy. She started taking Biology and knew that this was the right career choice for her.

Domenica is a Junior in high school and therefore has more time to decide on which college she would like to attend. Her future plans beyond college also include getting married and having children. She is a dynamic daughter and sister, a top student, loves to swim and is a fantastic Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich member. Bobby Walker, Jr. , the Club’s CEO said, “The entire Club, members, staff and Board know that Domenica will absolutely achieve all that she plans to accomplish. We are thrilled to have her as our member and now as the Connecticut State Youth of the Year!”

Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Youth of the Year recognition program is presented by Disney, who has supported the youth advocacy organization for more than 50 years, empowering young people to reach their full potential and providing youth with access to the tools they need to build the great futures they imagine. Toyota, the Signature Sponsor of Youth of the Year, is dedicated to inspiring the next generations of engineers, thinkers and leaders who will help drive the American economy. Additional support is provided by University of Phoenix, a committed partner who has worked with Boys & Girls Clubs of America on many Academic Success initiatives, and the Taco Bell Foundation, Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s premier partner for teen empowerment.

Now that Domenica has won the CT state competition, she will move on to compete for the title of Northeast Region Youth of the Year and an additional $10,000 college scholarship, renewable for four years up to $40,000. Five regional winners will advance to Washington, D.C. in September 2018, to compete for the title of Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Youth of the Year. The National Youth of the Year will receive an additional scholarship of $25,000, renewable each year up to $100,000 and will have the opportunity to meet with the President of the United States in the White House.

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