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Sheridan named Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year

Posted: March 13, 2008 12:54 a.m.
Updated: May 14, 2008 5:03 a.m.

Sarah Sheridan was named Youth of the Year for the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita during a ceremony Wednesday in Newhall.

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Described as a role model with an incredible amount of energy, 17-year-old Sarah Sheridan was named Youth of the Year for the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley during a ceremony held Wednesday at the club's main facility in Newhall.

Sheridan, a senior at Golden Valley High School, has been a member of the Sierra Vista branch of the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley for about four years. She regularly volunteers around the club, whether it be tutoring, cleaning, answering phones or helping with events in the community, such as the annual auction or Haunted Jailhouse.

Sheridan is the secretary for the Keystone Club and was one of a dozen students who represented the local club at the National Keystone Conference in 2006 in Washington, D.C.

"Sarah is one of our most active teens and best role models. She has an incredible amount of energy and a great attention to detail," said Jim Ventress, chief professional officer of the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley.

Sheridan will go on to compete against other Boys & Girls Club members for the Youth of the Year title for the state of California and a $1,000 scholarship. If she wins at the state level, she will go on to compete for the regional award and a $10,000 scholarship.

Five regional winners will then travel to Washington, D.C., to compete for the title of National Youth of the Year. The National Youth of the Year receives an additional $15,000 college scholarship and will be installed by President George W. Bush during a ceremony in the Oval Office.

The Youth of the Year program has been nationally sponsored by the Reader's Digest Foundation since 1947, and recognizes outstanding contributions to a member's family, school, community and Boys & Girls Club, as well as personal challenges and obstacles overcome.

"The Reader's Digest Foundation has been the proud sponsor of the Youth of the Year program for 59 years," said Susan Fraysse Russ, executive director of the Reader's Digest Foundation. "We are thrilled that we can honor amazing teens, like Sarah, for her dedication and hard work."

While Sheridan is the Youth of the Year for the Sierra Vista branch and the overall club winner, the ceremony also honored Hernan Osorio, 16, Youth of the Year for the Val Verde branch, and Megan Ramirez, 17, Youth of the Year for the Newhall branch of the club.

The Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley is a member of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, an organization with more than 3,000 clubs nationwide. The local club was formed in 1968 by a group of community leaders who recognized the need for high-quality programs and facilities at affordable costs for area young people.

The local club now serves more than 3,500 youth, ages 7 to 17, at facilities in Newhall, Canyon Country and Val Verde. Programs engage members in education and career exploration, the arts, sports, recreation and fitness, character and leadership development, and healthy life choices.

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