ELIZABETH—Recently selected as the 2009 Boys & Girls Clubs of Union County Youth of the Year, 18-year-old Quinnetta Williams of Elizabeth is a true example of extraordinary youth. A member of the Elizabeth Boys & Girls Club, Williams will receive a $1,500 scholarship and will go on to compete against other members for the New Jersey Youth of the Year title in May.
The Youth of the Year program, which is administered by Boys & Girls Clubs of America recognizes outstanding effort and contributions by a member to their family, school, community and Boys & Girls Club, as well as having overcome personal challenges and obstacles.
Dedicated, passionate and tenacious, Williams is a role model for her peers and younger siblings. A senior at Elizabeth High School Upper Academy, where she has achieved a 4.0 GPA, she has shown consistent effort in making education her number one priority and keeping her life on a positive track. Also very interested in the Performing Arts, she plays the violin in her high school orchestra, is enrolled in various disciplines of dance classes, and involved with the theater program. She volunteers extensively in her school and community, and is a three year member of the Elizabeth Boys & Girls Club. She has won many awards including “One Person Can Make a Difference,” and “Kindness Awards”, as well as those for her dedication to service by the Tri-M Music Honor Society, The Key Club, The Women’s Scholarship Club, and Kids in Concert.
Williams has been accepted to Rutgers University as well as Penn State and she is currently waiting to hear from Columbia and Georgetown Universities. Expecting to major in Pharmacy with a minor in the Arts, she has aspirations of working in a pharmaceutical company and creating alternative and natural medicines.
“I see myself as a role model, leader and contributor to my family and community,” stated Williams. “Staying on the right path so you can obtain higher education is the key to success and a fulfilling life. As the 2009 Youth of the Year for Union County, I look forward to the journey and learning as much as I can every day so I can continue to give back to those who need me most.”
“Quinnetta’s passion for making a change in her community and selflessly helping others is inspiring while her commitment to her education, supporting her family, community and club is exemplary, She is a very special young lady,” said Russell Triolo, chief executive officer, Boys & Girls Clubs of Union County. “She is thoroughly deserving of this honor.”
If Williams wins at the state level she will win a $20,000 scholarship and go on to compete for the title of Northeast Region Youth of the Year. Five regional winners will then travel to Washington, D.C., to compete for the title of BGCA’s National Youth of the Year. The National Youth of the Year receives an additional $15,000 college scholarship and will be installed by President Barack Obama in an oval office ceremony.
To be considered for the title, club members must write an essay and complete a face-to-face interview with a panel of judges, comprised of community leaders and several members of the BGCUC Board of Directors.