Boys & Girls Club of Ridgefield names 10 Year Club Member Carter Deane as 2022 Youth of the Year

For the first time in over 2 years, the Boys & Girls Club of Ridgefield (BGCR) members and their families, as well as community leaders, Club supporters, and the Board of Directors, gathered in person at the Ethan Allen Hotel to honor and celebrate the Club’s youth and all they have accomplished over the past year. 

Back to their traditional format, BGCR recognized Club members of all ages for their various significant achievements over the past year, including honoring the Club’s Character and Leadership Program members in Gem Club (for 5th grade members), Torch Club (for middle school members), and Keystone Club (for high school members). The highlight of the night was hearing from the 2022 Youth of the Year candidates about the impact the Club has had on their lives. For many of the youth speakers, the Youth Leadership Celebration is a culmination of 10 to 12 years of “growing” up at the Club.

The evening started off with the announcement of the 2022 Keystone Award winners - awards given to Club members recognized for their outstanding contributions to their respective Character & Leadership programs over the past year. This year’s winners included: Gem Club Members of the Year Valentina Restrepo and Xavier Murray; Torch Club Member of the Year Adam Robson; Character Award winner Max Barlow; Leadership Award winner Carter Deane; Volunteer of the Year Award winners Rowan MacKenzie, Lillian Ward, and Emily Yee; & Outstanding Service Award winners Kayla Dewing and Nora Schoenherr.

The Club also named their second Junior Youth of the Year in BGCR history - awarded to Ridgefield High School Sophomore Emily Yee. An eight year Club member, Yee said “As I grow, the Club continues to shape my character. The staff has provided me support in so many ways, helping me to be the best version of myself I can be, which allows me to help others.”

“Emily has been a positive and energetic club kid since she stepped foot in the club and is turning into an amazing leader and advocate.  We are so proud of her and can’t wait to see how she continues to grow as a leader over the next two years,” said Mike Flynn, Boys & Girls Club of Ridgefield’s Chief Executive Officer.

The evening concluded with the announcement of ten year Club member, and Ridgefield High School Senior, Carter Deane being named Boys & Girls Club of Ridgefield’s 2022 Youth of the Year.  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 a healthy lifestyle.  Now in its 75th year, the Youth of the Year program honors our nation’s most awe-inspiring young people on their path to great futures. 

Deane was selected among 14 outstanding Club youth by a committee of local community leaders who interviewed all of the candidates and worked with the professional staff to select both the Junior Youth of the Year and the Youth of the Year. 

This year’s Junior Youth of the Year judging panel included Suzanne Brennan, Executive Director, Lounsbury House; Lynn Everdell, BGCR Board Member; Kerry Anne Ducey, HamletHub founder, Laurence Briody, Executive Vice President, CBRE and BGCR Board Member, and Christopher Leonard, Esquire, Collins Hannafin, P.C. and BGCR Board Member.  The Youth of the Year judging panel consisted of Aimee Berger-Girvalo, Connecticut State Representative; Susie Da Silva, Ed.D. Superintendent of Schools for Ridgefield;  Nicholas Donofrio, IBM Fellow Emeritus; Jeffrey Kreitz, Chief, Ridgefield Police Department; and Rudy Marconi, Ridgefield First Selectman. 

“Carter is a great young man, who has grown up at the Club and stood out among the crowd.  Through his Club journey, he has developed into a model citizen and is a true example of the Boys & Girls Club and everything that we stand for.” stated Mike Flynn. “He demonstrates every character trait we encompass: leadership, acceptance, honesty, respect, integrity and compassion. We are extremely proud to call him our 2022 Youth of the Year.”

As the Club’s Youth of the Year, Deane will receive the Couri Family Scholarship Fund’s $5,000 Youth of the Year scholarship. In May, he will go on to vie for the Connecticut Youth of the Year title and an additional $2,500 scholarship from the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. 

“We are beyond proud of all of our Junior Youth of the Year and Youth of the Year candidates. All 18 of these young people are extraordinary leaders in our Club and our Community, and we are honored to call them Boys & Girls Club kids,” exclaimed Jeff Goncalves, Senior Program Director and Keystone Advisor at the Club. “There is no doubt that they are on track to become great leaders and mentors in our society and we can’t wait to watch!”

Youth of the Year honorees are shining examples and living proof that ‘Great Futures Start at the Boys & Girls Club’. Noteworthy BGCR finalists for the 2022 Youth of the Year are: Max Barlow, Kayla Dewing, Faith Flanagan, Owen Foley, Dylan Kratz, Devon Noonan, Sophia Rodriguez, Sydney Rossi, Will Scheffel, Nora Schoenherr, Briony Sekelsky, Katherine Ward and Claire Zhang. Noteworthy BGCR finalists for the 2022 Junior Youth of the Year are: Aidan Byrne, Rowan MacKenzie and Lillian Ward.



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