The Boys & Girls Club of Collier County has announced 10 honorees being considered for its prestigious 2021 Youth of the Year award.

The teens exemplify the virtues of good character, academic excellence, community service and strong leadership. A panel of judges will select the winner based on their applications, written essays and interview documenting their life experiences and vision for the future.

Honorees include Michelle Azord, Ashley Decius, Oca Dupra, David Francoeur, Erven Francois, Lovensky Germain, Sotayouna Joseph, Marck Massillon, Abigail Mendoza and Angalisa Ojeda. Students will be recognized Feb. 23 during the Boys & Girls Club’s virtual Youth of the Year celebration.

“Each of these 10 students shared their inspirational stories, and our judges were incredibly impressed with their outlook on life and ambitions for a brighter future,” said Megan McCarthy Beauvais, President and CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Collier County. “This is our 10th annual Youth of the Year celebration, and each year, the profiles of our honorees continue to get stronger. As teens, they are already leaders in their schools and the community, so there is no doubt we’ll see them achieve their goals in college and beyond.”

During the Youth of the Year celebration, the Boys & Girls Club also will honor longtime supporter Lea Cole Smith, a board member, volunteer and FORE-the-Kids golf tournament event chair, with the 2021 Giving is Living Award.

The Youth of the Year program is generously sponsored by:

  • Hope & Opportunity Sponsors: Molly and Domenic Ferrante, Mary Pat and Frank Hussey, Audrey and Vaughn Pengelly, Karen J. Pulte Trust, and The Schoen Foundation.
  • Character and Citizenship Sponsors: Susan and Carl Bolch, Jr., JPMorgan Chase Private Bank, Juliana and George Phillips, Kathleen St. James and Robert Taylor, and Publix Super Markets Charities.
  • Academic Success Sponsors: Joel Lipman, M.D., Dianne and Jim Safley, Lea and David Smith, First Florida Integrity Bank, and Stock Development.
  • Healthy Lifestyles Sponsor: Linda Dubroof-McGinnis.
  • Leadership Development Sponsors: Kim and Curtis Artis, Jeanine and David Eklund, Florida Gulf Coast University, Gulfview Dental, IBERIABANK, Kay and Sam McCullough, Jerry F. Nichols, Penelope and Schuyler Peck, and Swinging with Purpose.
  • Fine & Performing Arts Sponsor: DeAngelis Diamond Construction, Inc.

The Youth of the Year virtual celebration begins at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 23. Tickets for the event are $750 and include a delivered dinner, and are available online at Event.Gives/yoy2021. Proceeds from the Youth of the Year celebration support the Boys & Girls Club’s core program areas, which include education, career development, character and leadership, health and wellness, the arts, and sports and recreation.

For more information, please contact Amanda Curbelo at 239-325-1766 or ACurbelo@BGCCC.com.

About the Boys & Girls Club of Collier County

Founded in 1992, the Boys & Girls Club of Collier County mobilizes donors, staff and volunteers toward the achievement of a single mission: To enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. The nonprofit’s six core program areas include education, career development, character and leadership, health and wellness, the arts, and sports and recreation. The Boys & Girls Club of Collier County annually serves more than 3,000 children and teens, ages 6 to 18, through clubs and after-school programs. Through the generosity of sponsors, donors and friends, the Boys & Girls Club of Collier County provides a safe place for young people to learn, grow and develop ongoing relationships with adult mentors who support the education, emotional, physical and social development they need to become successful adults. For more information, please visit BGCCC.com or call 239-325-1700.