The Boys & Girls Club of Collier County will host its 10th annual Youth of the Year celebration on Feb. 22 to honor local teenagers for their outstanding achievements.

The annual fundraising gala will be held outdoors at Club Pelican Bay in Naples. Guests will enjoy cocktails, dinner and a call for support, as well as hear inspirational speeches from student members and staff.

Youth of the Year is the Boys & Girls Club’s largest annual fundraising gala and recognizes student members who exemplify the virtues of good character, academic excellence, community service and strong leadership.

“Although this is a one-night event, Youth of the Year is actually a year-long program that works to foster a new generation of leaders who are fully prepared to live and lead in a diverse, global and integrated world,” said Boys & Girls Club CEO and President Megan McCarthy Beauvais. “All honorees and finalists are exceptional leaders in the classroom, at the club and across the community. Guests at Youth of the Year always leave the event in awe after hearing their incredible stories and aspirations for the future.”

Youth of the Year candidates must submit applications and essays documenting their life stories and vision for the future. Then, each candidate presents before a distinguished panel of judges, including Boys & Girls Club board members, business partners, volunteers and organization partners.

The Boys & Girls Club of Collier County, which is celebrating its 25th year in 2022, will honor three finalists at the Youth of the Year event before naming the 2022 recipient, who will receive scholarship funding and be eligible for a statewide Youth of the Year competition. The keynote speaker will be Mona Dixon, the 2011 National Youth of the Year Award winner who went from being a homeless teenager to a college graduate serving on a U.S. Presidential Committee.

Youth of the Year starts at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 22 at Club Pelican Bay, 707 Gulf Park Drive in Naples. The event will be held outdoors under a tent. Tickets are $750 per person.

For more information, please visit bgccc.com/event/youth-of-the-year-celebration-2 or call 239-325-1700.

About the Boys & Girls Club of Collier County

Founded in 1997, 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.