PORTAGE COUNTY Youth of the Year named Felicia Smith to compete in state competition

Laura Nethken Published:

Felicia Smith has been selected as the 2003 Youth of the Year for the Boys & Girls Club of Portage County. Sponsored by Readers Digest Foundation and administered by Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the national program recognizes exemplary character, superior leadership skills and outstanding service to the Boys & Girls Club and the community.

A 10-year member of the Boys & Girls Club of Portage County, Felicia is being honored as a positive role model for todays young people.

Getting to represent our club in the state competition is a real honor, said Felicia, who is 15 and a sophomore at Ravenna High School. Im just going to be myself and enjoy the experience of meeting new people from different Boys & Girls Clubs.

Felicia will compete against other Boys & Girls Club youth for the Ohio state Youth of the Year title. Five regional winners selected from among the state winners will compete for the national honor in Washington, D.C., where the National Youth of the Year will be officially installed by President Bush in a White House ceremony in September. In addition, the winner will receive a $10,000 scholarship from Readers Digest Foundation, sponsor of the program since its inception in 1947.

At the Ravenna Club, Felicia is a junior staff member and an adviser for the Torch Club. She also belongs to the community-service minded Keystone Club and is a valued member of the Boys & Girls Clubs softball team.

I like working as a junior staffer with the younger kids, said Felicia. I try to set a good example for them to follow.

The Boys & Girls Club has played an integral role in the Ravenna community for nearly 50 years, providing daily programs and services to area young people.

The club is open Monday through Friday with programs in character and leadership development, education and career development, health and life skills, the arts and sports, fitness and recreation.

For more information about the club, call Matt Harper, executive director, at (330) 296-8535 or visit the club on-line at www.portageclubs.org.

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