Seven Boys & Girls Club teens compete for 2019 Palm Beach County Youth of the Year Title

Seven local youth are in the running to be named the 2019 Palm Beach County Youth of the Year. Hundreds of guests will come hear their inspiring stories during a dinner, which will take place on Thursday, February 28 at 6 p.m. at Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa, 100 S. Ocean Blvd., Manalapan. Proceeds will support the Florence De George Boys & Girls Club in West Palm Beach.

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. It is a national program of Boys & Girls Clubs of America that begins with at the local level.

For the second year, six candidates will be awarded four-year Florida Prepaid College Scholarships and the County winner will receive a four-year Florida Prepaid University Scholarship inclusive of room and board. The Youth of the Year scholarships are made possible by the overwhelming generosity of the Mary Alice Fortin Foundation.

“These teens have demonstrated their dedication and ambition to becoming leaders and contributing to their families, school community, and their Clubs,” said Jaene Miranda, President & CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County. “We are excited to recognize them and crown the County winner who will go on to represent our organization at the State competition.”

A cocktail reception kicks off the evening, followed by a seated dinner and the evening’s main event: the finalists’ speech presentations.

This year’s candidates are Tyler Abercrombie from the Smith & Moore Family Teen Center of Belle Glade, Joshua Desvieux from the Boys & Girls Club of Boca Raton, Derry Gaspard from the Naoma Donnelley Haggin Boys & Girls Club of Delray Beach, Jasmine Myrthil from the Max M. Fisher Boys & Girls Club of Riviera Beach, Nicholas Polycarpe from the Marjorie S. Fisher Boys & Girls Club of West Palm Beach, Kalayah Samuels from the Florence De George Boys & Girls Club of West Palm Beach, and Janayah Strachan from the Neil S. Hirsch Family Boys & Girls Club of Wellington.

Candidates were selected to represent their Club by a preliminary competition that included a comprehensive application, three essays, three letters of recommendation, and an interview in front of a panel of judges made up by the Club’s advisory board members. Three-minute speeches presented live at the dinner will serve as the final scoring factor. All candidates are then invited to attend the State Youth of the Year Competition in April to support the local winner who will represent Palm Beach County.

Leading the charge as event chairmen are Olympia Bishop and Wilder Regalbuto. Supporting as Honorary Chairmen are Honorable Danielle H. Moore and Honorable Lesly S. Smith.

The Youth of the Year Dinner is presented by Valedictorian Sponsor, Publix Super Markets Charities, and is powered by Senior Sponsor, Comcast. Joining them are Junior Sponsor, Office Depot, and Freshman Sponsors C. Kenneth & Laura Baxter Foundation and the Mary Alice Fortin Foundation.

The event’s Club and Supporting Sponsors include Olympia Bishop, BMO Wealth Management, Comcast, Comerica Bank, Florida Virtual School, Gehring Insurance, Nicolette Goldfarb, Inlet Private Wealth, JCPenney, JFO Group, Inc., Junior League of the Palm Beaches, Jupiter Magazine, Kerry & Simone Vickar Family Foundation, The Kress Family, LuLuMAC, The Palm Beacher, Palm Beach Outlets, Raul Ocampo & Associates, Wilder Regalbuto, Schumacher Auto Group, Toastmasters International, and Wilmington Trust.

The 13 Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the Palm Beach County provide services during non-school hours, as well as summer camp opportunities, to more than 8,500 boys and girls from ages 6 to 18.

To purchase tickets or for more information, please contact Megan Middeke, Sr. Development Manager at 561-683-3287 or [email protected] or visit

For more information about the Youth of the Year program, visit

Founded in 1971, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County is a not-for profit youth development organization dedicated to promoting the educational, vocational, health leadership and character of boys and girls in a safe, nurturing environment. The Clubs provide more than a safe, fun and constructive alternative to being home alone – they offer a variety of award-winning developmental programs to help youth build skills, self-esteem and values during critical periods of growth. The thirteen Boys & Girls Clubs throughout Palm Beach County serve more than 8,500 children ages 6-18. For more information, please visit or call 561-683-3287.