CASPER, Wyo. — Brentan Brown, a senior at Kelly Walsh High School in Casper, has been selected at the Boys & Girls Club of Central Wyoming’s 2019-2020 “Youth of the Year.”
Brown won a $5,000 Ruth R. Ellbogen Education Award for winning the regional “Youth of the Year” competition. That competition includes writing essays and giving speeches, according the the Boys & Girl Club.
Two other KW seniors received $250 Ruth R. Ellbogen awards as finalists. Those students are Kayla Messmer and Ethan Dickinson.
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Brown now has the chance to compete at a statewide competition in February 2020 with the opportunity to win a full-ride scholarship to the University of Wyoming.
Brown wants to study law in college.
“For Brentan a life change forced him to see his world a little differently,” a Wednesday, Aug. 28 announcement states. “He says moving from South Dakota to Casper as a young boy was jolting.
“It was when he started attending the Boys & Girls Club that he began to learn that his view of the world was quite narrow; that not everyone was like him and that was ok.”
Brown also spoke about how the Boys & Girls Club has influenced him.
“’The Club widened the lens through which I saw life and taught me not to judge people,'” Brown said. “’I learned that I could be friends with someone even if their story wasn’t like mine or if they didn’t look quite like me.'”
“‘I want to use my voice and these lessons as a tool for change as your Youth of the Year to reach as many people as possible and help others expand their lenses.’”
Boys & Girls Club explained the “Youth of the Year” program.
“Established in 1947, Youth of the Year is BGCA’s premier recognition program for Club members, promoting service to Club, community and family; academic success; strong moral character; life goals; and poise and public speaking ability,” they said.
“The program is used as a year-round tool for fostering young people’s character, personal growth and leadership qualities. Contestants are judged in several categories presented in written essays, an oral speech, and live interviews.”