Boys And Girls Club hold Youth Of The Year competition

The Boys And Girls Clubs of St. Joe County held their annual Youth Of The Year competition today.

Every year the organization recognizes young people in clubs across the country who rise above their circumstances and make positive changes.

Community leaders and peers selected three young adults and three children as this year's finalists.

These kids have proven to improve their lives, the club and the community.

Each nominee is paired with an adult mentor called their "great big kid" who guides them along the way and helps them to improve their leadership and character.

Candidates spoke to a panel of five judges. Each shared their stories and what they have done to improve themselves and the community.

Jory Fitzgerald Kelly is the Executive Director of the Family & Children's Center and says they are committed to helping kids.

"Our commitment is to serve all children especially kids who need us most. So our commitment is to provide that service every day after school, throughout the summer when parents are at work, working hard to provide for their family and we do that for $40. If a family cannot afford that $40 fee annually, we waive it. No questions asked. That's our commitment and that commitment is made possible through the generous support of the community."

The county finalist will advance to the regional, state and national levels of competition.

The national winner will receive a $50,000 scholarship and he or she will also have the opportunity to meet President Obama.

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