Shawnti Diaz Set To Receive College Scholarship And Vie For Regional Title This Fall
MURRAY, UT, April 1, 2021 – Selected among three outstanding youth, Shawnti has been named the 2021 Utah Youth of the Year by Boys & Girls Clubs of America. 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. Now in its 74th year, the Youth of the Year program honors the nation’s most awe-inspiring young people on their path to great futures. As the Utah Youth of the Year, Shawnti will serve as an ambassador for all teens in the state, receive a $2,500 college scholarship from Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and go on to contend for the regional Youth of the Year title and ultimately the national title.
Shawnti Diaz is a compassionate leader who emulates kindness and empathy. She has been a member of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Salt Lake since she was 4 years old and has spent her time building relationships with both the youth and staff at Club during the 14 years she has been attending. She has displayed her leadership skills as captain of the basketball team, secretary of an outdoors club at school, and being a member of Black Student Union at Murray High. At her Club, Shawnti has been a mentor for younger members through her involvement in Keystone Club, an organization where teens gain valuable leadership and service experience. She has discovered a passion when it comes to cooking and plans to study the culinary arts this coming fall at Utah Valley University.
“We are incredibly proud of Shawnti and all the Youth of the Year nominees,” said Jim Clark, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “Being named Youth of the Year is a lifelong honor. As the Utah Youth of the Year, Shawnti will serve as a spokesperson for Boys & Girls Club kids and teens across the state who need more role models that they can admire and emulate.”
This year’s nominees also included:
Aimsley C. has been a member of the Boys & Girls Club of Utah County for 6 years. She is a senior at Spanish Fork High School where she also serves as the President and Captain of the Dance Company and member of the Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) Club. At her Boys & Girls Club, she mentors younger members, and her leadership and dependable characteristics earned her a position as a child nutrition specialist where she prepares and serves over 4,000 meals daily. As an essential worker during the pandemic she has tirelessly worked to provide food and services to families in need through the Boys & Girls Club. She plans to attend Southern Utah University in the fall where she wants to study and pursue a career in Child Development to continue her love of working with youth.
Dustin S. has been a member of the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Utah for three years. He is a Senior at Bear River High School and was recently named Bear River High School Sterling Scholar in Family & Consumer Sciences. Dustin enjoys cooking and reading. He is currently attending Bridgerland Technical College Culinary Arts programs while finishing high school and hopes to attend Utah State University. He will take business and entrepreneur classes at USU, hoping to one day own his own restaurant.
Founded in 1947 as Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s premier youth recognition program, Youth of the Year recognizes outstanding contributions to a member’s family, school, community and Boys & Girls Club. The Youth of the Year program is supported by Toyota and Mondelēz. As the Signature Sponsor of Youth of the Year, Toyota is committed to partnering with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to ensure local Clubs provide life-enhancing opportunities for kids and teens to explore, develop and apply the essential skills they need to be successful in life and work. As the Lead Sponsor of Youth of the Year, Mondelēz International, will engage with local Clubs year-round to help foster a new generation of leaders prepared to live in and lead a diverse global economy. Youth of the Year representatives are the workforce leaders, innovators and problem-solvers of tomorrow.
On May 12, 2021, Shawnti will join other state winners to vie for the Pacific regional title. If named the regional winner, she will be awarded an additional $20,000 college scholarship. Six youth, including five regional winners and a military youth winner, will advance to the virtual National Youth of the Year event in October 2021 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 $50,000 and a brand-new Toyota Corolla.
For more information about the Youth of the Year program, visit www.youthoftheyear.org.
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