BY CINDY ANZALOTTI
OF BRIGADE BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB
WILMINGTON, N.C. – On February 15th, the Brigade Boys & Girls Club hosted the 2017 Youth of the Year competition, and celebrated three exemplary high schoolers from the Montgomery-Register Teen Center. Josh (left in photo, Shavone(middle in photo), and LJ(right in photo) each presented their stories of how they came to Brigade, and how it has positively impacted their lives. In the end, the judges chose Josh Bell as the winner of the competition.
Josh is a senior at Hoggard High School, and has been a Brigade member since 2007. He is well known around the Club as being an amazing, driven, polite, and brilliant, young man, and he fully believes that you should “always put forth your best effort.”
“I began attending Brigade in the third grade, when I was eight years old,” Josh explained. “The years since have been the greatest of my life because Brigade has been by my side every step of the way. This organization has done so much for me and so many others. It provides our community’s youth with a safe haven to come to and be part of as one big happy family. Brigade has always encouraged me to be the best I can be and to never give up in life. I am truly blessed to have Brigade in my life.”
We at Brigade are so proud of all three of these teens and their accomplishments, and we even more excited for their “Great Futures.” As Brigade’s YOY, Josh will now compete at the state Youth of the Year competition in Durham on March 31st and April 1st.
Special thanks goes to Live Oak Bank for hosting this competition at their beautiful facilities, and to Katie Ridd from Port City Community Church, Rushell Bongiorno from Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage, Avril Pinder from New Hanover County Government, and Katherine Cammack from the Babies Hospital Foundation for being the 2017 YOY judges.
Established in 1896, the Brigade Boys & Girls Club is the oldest club in North Carolina and has been at the forefront of youth development since its inception. The Club works with a diverse group of at-risk youth in New Hanover, Pender and Onslow Counties. Brigade programs ensure that the community’s children have greater access to quality programs and services that will enhance their lives and shape their futures.