For 75 years, the Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year program has honored and celebrated the nation’s most inspiring teens and their incredible journeys. Stories of outstanding leadership, service, academic excellence, and dedication to living a healthy lifestyle have made Youth of the Year America’s premier leadership and recognition program for teens. The amazing young people selected represent the voice and spirit of hope for America, inspiring all kids to lead. To succeed. To inspire.

Each year we have the distinct honor of selecting and recognizing a Youth of the Year from our Clubs. Picking one outstanding teen is always a very difficult decision, but it’s also really rewarding to hear about their goals for the future and see all that they have accomplished thus far in their life.

Please join us in congratulating our 2024 Youth of the Year, Melissa Carrillo.

A senior at NOVA Academy High School, Melissa has been a dedicated member of the College Bound program since her freshman year. Not only is she a dual enrollment student set to graduate high school with an Associate’s Degree, Melissa is also in the top 15% of her class.

Her academic advisors describe her as a positive, hardworking leader who values constant learning and finding her voice within her community. As the Associated Student Body (ASB) President of her school and an active participant in multiple school clubs, Melissa has a proven track record of leadership, fostering an inclusive and supportive environment for her peers. Melissa’s goal is to major in psychology, aspiring to provide her community with the crucial resources they need to succeed.

Melissa plays an active role in governing her school, serving as the Vice President of NOVA Academy’s School Site Council. With three years of involvement in the Council, she remains dedicated to influencing policies and decisions that affect the student body.

Expanding her influence beyond campus, Melissa has been instrumental in America on Track’s youth program as a Youth Advocate. Engaging actively in marches and city council meetings, her fervor for civic engagement and community advocacy shines through. Her commitment to both academic excellence and community service has earned her recognition, with her school presenting her the Character Award and America on Track honoring her with the Youth Advocate Award.

As Youth of the Year, Melissa’s goal is to help her peers find their voice so they can enact change within their community together. As our Youth of the Year, Melissa received a $5,000 scholarship to use towards her higher education and to help achieve her goals. We are excited to see what the future holds for her as she continues to pursue greatness.

Our College Bound program provides additional scholarships to help deserving kids pay for college. Want to be a part of it? Please consider making a gift. Thank you for helping us fulfill our mission to ensure every child has mentors and champions in life and for giving high school students a better opportunity to reach their GREATEST POTENTIAL!