2024 Arizona Youth of the Year

Boys & Girls Clubs and the Youth of the Year program teach teens the skills to be successful and how to turn dreams into realities.

This year’s Arizona State Youth of the Year candidates are the leaders of the future and the future looks bright!

Meet the Arizona Youth of the Year 2024 candidates

Rebekah C. | Boys & Girls Clubs of the Colorado River, Youth of the Year

Rebekah was born in Fort Mohave, Arizona and has lived in the surrounding area her entire life. She is a freshman at Mohave High School, maintaining a 3.70 GPA while being involved with Interact and softball. Rebekah also volunteers her time with the Bullhead Police Department Backpack Buddy Program, which helps youth experiencing disadvantages obtain school supplies and clothing. Rebekah plans on attending Northern Arizona University or University of Las Vegas. She aspires to play collegiate softball and pursue a career in the medical field or follow in her father’s footsteps and work in law enforcement.

Makia W. | Boys & Girls Club of Flagstaff, Youth of the Year

Makia comes from Lok’aa’inteel, known in English as Ganado, a rural community in the Navajo Nation. Carrying values similar to her community’s founder, Ganado Mucho, Makia has naturally evolved into a goal-getter and motivator. Her ability to seek opportunities led her to relocate to Winslow for her education and to take advantage of programs such as Boys & Girls Club, NAU’s Upward Bound Program, Winslow High School’s Honor Society, and more! Makia’s commitment to her education, family, and programs she’s involved with has driven her to the goal of obtaining her Nursing degree and further working towards Medical School. Makia wholeheartedly values her community as well as the people of the Navajo Nation and would like to someday return home to help heal those in need.

Reuben R. | Boys & Girls Clubs of the Gila River Indian Community, Youth of the Year

A 12-year member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Gila River Indian Community, Komatke Branch, Reuben is a legacy Youth of the Year, as his father was the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Gila River Indian Community’s 2002 Youth of the Year. Reuben is a senior at Betty H. Fairfax High School and has been accepted at Arizona State University to pursue a degree in Fine Arts as a Ceramist. Reuben was exposed to Art as a young Club member and has been able to delve into the arts at both the Club and at school and has become an accomplished artist.

Sydney F. | Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale, Youth of the Year

For the past decade, Sydney F. has called Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale’s Thunderbirds Branch her second home. Throughout her journey at the Club, she has emerged as a leader, advocate, and inspiration to her peers. Sydney began attending her Boys & Girls Club at the age of seven and over the years has witnessed firsthand the transformative power of the Club. She credits the Club as the place where she found the mentors, role models, and lifelong friends that helped her navigate the pressures and stereotypes that often negatively affect teenage girls. Sydney will graduate from Desert Mountain High School this spring and will attend the University of Utah in the fall, where she plans to major in criminology and psychology.

Damilan W. | Boys & Girls Club of Sierra Vista, Youth of the Year

Damilan’s journey to the Boys & Girls Club of Sierra Vista began in 2021 after his family relocated to Arizona from Wichita, Kansas. Seeking a safe space to adjust to a new environment following the pandemic, Damilan found a welcoming community at the Club’s main branch. A junior at Buena High School, Damilan actively participates in Keystone, a Boys & Girls Club program that equips teens with valuable life skills through service projects and leadership development. Damilan’s commitment extends to the Junior Staff program, where he mentors younger members and fosters a positive Club environment. Looking towards the future, Damilan aspires to pursue a career as a police officer after graduation.

Jaydon M. | Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson, Youth of the Year

Jaydon is a 17-year-old junior at Rincon High School. He has been part of the Jim & Vicki Click Club for 8 years. He has been able to express his passion for helping and guiding others through the Clubhouse Internship Academy (CIA), which has put him on a path to success. Growing up at the Club, Jaydon developed a love for basketball, participating in high school basketball, tournaments, AAU teams, and playing at the Club on teen nights. Jaydon also participates in Alpha Gents and Keystone Club, which has taught him valuable life skills and provided opportunities to volunteer in his community. After graduation, Jaydon plans to attend USC in pursuit of a career in sports medicine.

Yarieliz L. | Boys and Girls Clubs of the Valley, Youth of the Year

After surviving devastating hurricanes in her native Puerto Rico, Yarieliz moved to Phoenix with her family in 2019. She and her brother joined the Ed Robson Family Branch because their mom needed a place for them while she worked, and Yarieliz quickly found friends, fun, and opportunities. Club staff and peers helped her adjust to life in the United States, build resilience and confidence, and become the version of herself that she always wanted to be. At the Club, Yarieliz enjoys fine arts programs, studying with her friends and classmates, and playing pool! An avid theatre performer, Yarieliz aspires to join the military and get her education in fine arts.

Special Thanks to the Arizona State Youth of the Year Sponsors!

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