The Boys & Girls Club of Collier County named Joodlhy Charelus as its 2022 Youth of the Year, a recognition program for local teenagers who exemplify the virtues of good character, academic excellence, community service and strong leadership.

Held Feb. 22 at Club Pelican Bay in Naples, the 10th annual Youth of the Year celebration attracted 200 guests and raised $550,000 to support club initiatives, including member scholarships.
Charelus, a senior at Lorenzo Walker Technical High School, has been an active club member for seven years, participating in Keystone Club, Mr. & Mrs. Manners, Girls on the Run and several athletic programs. After graduation, she hopes to attend Florida Gulf Coast University and ultimately become a nurse practitioner. Charelus will go on to compete at the State Youth of the Year Competition in April.

“Joodlhy clearly understands the impact of the Boys & Girls Club on her life, now and into the future,” said Boys & Girls Club CEO and President Megan McCarthy Beauvais. “She recognizes that a safe, nurturing environment helps student members thrive, and it’s gratifying to hear Joodlhy discuss a desire to use her voice to advocate for others. That is exactly what we hope to accomplish for every member who comes through our doors.”

The Youth of the Year celebration featured cocktails, dinner, fundraising opportunities and a chance to hear passionate, personal stories from student members.
Nine members also were recognized as Youth of the Year nominees: Juan Cardenas, Tatianna Chappell, Yv’Rose Cherelus, Elijah Cledanor, Lawence Joseph, Sotayouna Joseph, Elizabeth Levy, Noel McFarlane and Isabella Suarez.

Additionally, the Boys & Girls Club presented Mary Pat and Frank Hussey with the Giving is Living Award in recognition of the couple’s longtime support as donors and volunteers. Mary Pat Hussey helped found the Boys & Girls Club of Collier County and has been an active member of the board of directors for more than two decades.

Youth of the Year sponsors included:
· Hope & Opportunity: Domenic and Molly Ferrante, Mary Pat and Frank Hussey, Schoen Foundation
· Character & Citizenship: Joel Lipman, Morgan Stanley (the Wellington Group), Jerry Nichols, Audrey and Vaughn Pengelly, Juliana and George Phillips, Publix Charitable Foundation, Race Trac, Carolyn and Stan Sheetz, Kathleen St. James Taylor
· Academic Success: Eleanor and Nicholas Chabraja, JP Morgan Chase Private Bank, Stock Development, Truist Wealth
· Healthy Lifestyles: Bond, Schoeneck & King, Dianne Thornton
· Leadership Development: Carole and James Crane, Cecile and William Law, Ann Lee and Jay Levitt, Susan and Francis Morley, The Pengelly Family, Michael and Elba Rodburg, Lea and David Smith, Particia Wagner
· Fine & Performing Arts: Gulf View Dental
· Honorary Sponsor (Sports & Recreation): Marilyn and James Kempf

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.