GILLETTE, Wyo. — On Wednesday, a Buffalo Ridge Elementary School student was crowned the Junior Youth of the Year for the Wyoming Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs.
The Wyoming Alliance held its annual Junior Youth of the Year Competition on Nov. 2 at the Boys & Girls Club of the Bighorn Mountains in Buffalo, Boys & Girls Club of Campbell County Executive Director Nathan Grotrian said Wednesday evening.
The Junior Youth of the Year program fosters emerging leadership abilities of club members ages 10 to 13, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America said. The program prepares them for participation in the National Youth of the Year program. The Junior Youth of the Year program cultivates youths’ leadership potential for advanced leadership development, academic excellence and postsecondary success.
Boys & Girls Club of Campbell County leadership and staff had nominated Jeg Collins, 10, to represent Campbell County’s club, Grotrian said. Collins was one of 10 clubs’ nominees who participated in the competition in Buffalo. He had to make a speech and do a panel interview.
He won the competition.
Grotrian said he can’t express enough how proud he is of Collins, who’s been a member of the Boys & Girls Club of Campbell County for the past two years.
“When looking at the core values of the Junior Youth of the Year program, I could not have picked a more deserving or better representative for our organization or the state as a whole,” Grotrian said.
Grotrian said the club member who’s named Junior Youth of the Year must embody the values of leadership and service, academic excellence and healthy lifestyles, exemplifying the impact that Boys & Girls Clubs has on youths.
“Jeg said something today during the judging period that hit home with not only the judges but, for me, the CEOs from around the state and many in attendance,” Grotrian said. “He said, ‘Kindness, for me, kindness is something you choose. I choose to be kind because I want it to create a chain reaction of kindness.’”
Grotrian said Collins was recently selected to be part of Buffalo Ridge’s student leadership program. In the summer, Collins attends the Boys & Girls Club of Campbell County’s main site location, and during the school year he’s part of the Campbell County club’s Buffalo Ridge School Site.