FORT WALTON BEACH — Selected among numerous outstanding youth, Jacobe Turner has been named the Youth of the Year by Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast.
Now in its 72nd year, the Youth of the Year program honors the nation’s most inspiring young people on their path to great futures. Jacobe will go on to contend for the Florida Youth of the Year title and a $5,000 college scholarship from Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
“I have been blessed to watch him grow into an extraordinary young man who will do amazing things," said Shervin Rassa, CEO of the BGEC, of Turner. "We wish Jacobe the best of luck as he competes in the State Youth of the Year competition.”
When Turner is not lending a helping hand to the staff and his fellow members, he takes advantage of the many programs the BGCEC has to offer. His involvement over the past four years with the Keystone Club has been instrumental in the community. Turner is always the first one to sign up for a community service or volunteer opportunity. In the wake of Hurricane Michael, he worked with other Club members to make and distribute more than 600 care packages. Turner plans to attend Northwest Florida State College to get his associate's degree before transferring to Johnson & Wales University to study culinary arts.
“Throughout the years, the club has taught me values, like how positivity goes a long way, the importance of a strong work ethic, and that first impressions always matter,” Turner said. “Without the Boys and Girls Club I would not have seen the value of helping others or believed that my actions could directly help others. I make a difference!”
This year’s Florida State Youth of the Year Competition will be hosted by the BGCEC April 11-13 at the Four Points by Sheraton on Okaloosa Island. Turner will be one of 26 nominees from throughout the state, ages 14-18, who will be recognized. Each nominee will give a speech to illustrate how they have turned their aspirations into actions and overcome personal obstacles to achieve success.
The state winner will compete for the title of the Southeast Region Youth of the Year and an additional $10,000 college scholarship, renewable for four years up to $40,000. Five regional winners will advance to Washington, D.C. in September to compete for the title of Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Youth of the Year. The National Youth of the Year will receive an additional scholarship of $25,000, renewable each year up to $100,000.
For more information about the Youth of the Year program, visit www.youthoftheyear.org.