Local freshman wins Youth of the Year Award

Leadership is a “buzzword” among high school and college excellence programs, but for those who embody it, the skill truly is vital to future success, and students across the country are embodying what it means to be a leader.

Elizabethton’s Boys and Girls Club recently named their local Youth of the Year, the winner of a prestigious, national recognition: freshman Kylee Evans.

Ginny Wright, executive director of the club, said this is one of the organization’s most prominent programs.

“Every month we host a Youth of the Month competition,” Wright said. “Every year, we invite the winners of that for the Youth of the Year program.”

The application process is not only invitational but also intensive. Applicants go through three separate essay submissions, one-on-one interviews, speeches, and they must provide multiple letters of recommendations from the community.

Evans, vice president in her student government and president of the Spanish Club, said she wrote essays about education disparity, what she described as a lack of resources for both teachers and parents.

“I think we should pay teachers more,’ Evans said. “If parents do not have enough income, students are less likely to graduate high school.

“We are preparing them for future success,” she said. “Most of these applicants have not spoken to people like this before, so they have to push themselves.”

She said the program both teaches and tests “soft skills,” such as maintaining eye contact while talking, how to give a proper handshake and how to interact with people in a former setting.

“You usually have to learn these outside of school,” Wright said.

Evans said she gives back to her community through her leadership experience.

“I have compassionate leadership,” she said. “I care about other people’s opinions.”

The program is actually part of the national organization itself, so finalists here get to attend the state-level competition in Nashville, where they get to learn leadership skills and team-building exercises. The local winner then gets to compete for the state competition. This year, all four applicants get to attend, but only Evans gets to compete.

“I love watching kids grow and develop,” Wright said. “They have to dig deep. One of the required essays is ‘What does the Boys and Girls Club mean to you?’ It is gratifying, knowing this organization really does make a difference with the kids.”

Evans said she wants to use her leadership in the future to make a difference.

“I like guiding people in the right direction,” she said. “I want people to know what I am trying to be, not what I am trying to become.”

She said self-confidence is the key.

“I believe you should strive for greatness and not let anything hold you back.”

Local news

Local animal lover donates $10,000 to Elizabethton Spay & Neuter Clinic

Arrests

Elizabethton Police Department reports series of arrests in recent weeks

Local news

Happy Valley Elementary releases fourth grade honor roll for third nine weeks

Church News

Church Briefs

Local news

Spring choral concert scheduled Sunday at EHS Gymnasium

Church News

Benefit lunch for Wayne Singleton scheduled Sunday at Blue Springs

Local news

TN poised to expand access to opioid treatment at community health centers

Local news

Strawberry season is here in Tennessee

Arrests

Johnson City man arrested on child abuse and neglect charges

Church News

Why is God full of truthfulness?

Local news

Dance, dine, and discover at ETSU’s Corazón Latino Festival

Local news

County students see dramatic portrayal of prom night fatalities

Local news

Scioto Rifle Range closed for repairs

Local news

Ditch the coat, ETSU predicts warmer-than-normal spring

Local news

Tennessee’s working families are paying more than their fair share of taxes

Local news

Tennessee tax revenue exceed budgeted estimates

Local news

ETSU hosting Drug Take Back event April 18

Local news

Stolen vehicle report leads to attempted river escape

Local news

Local elementary school rolls out the ‘Red Carpet’ for their students

Local news

Elizabethton Police seek help identifying porch theft suspect

Local news

ETSU announces STEM and environmental health programs for high school students

Local news

A Lived Lived: Johnny McGee was just an ordinary man, but special to a lot of people

Local news

Crossroads Craftworks celebrates ribbon-cutting

Local news

First Baptist Elizabethton to host free food bag distribution