CHICAGO (WLS) -- Every year the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago recognizes an exceptional Club member between the ages of 14 and 18 with its "Youth of the Year" award.
This year the event went virtual and six teens were chosen as finalists for their leadership, service and academic standing.
The winner, Sammantha C., and the CEO and President of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago, Mimi LeClair, joined ABC7 Chicago to talk about the program.
Le Clair said it is a hallmark program of the organization many club members aspire to be nominated to.
She said the honor of "Youth of the Year" not only brings considerable bragging rights but also opportunities, such as internships, to the winner.
Sammantha was one of hundreds of students who submitted for the award.
She has been a member of the Boys &Girls Club of Chicago for seven years. She both dances and is a leader for their Keystone program.
Now that she has been recognized as "Youth of the Year", Sammantha said she hopes to inspire others. She also said she plans to go to college and get her bachelor's degree in social work to help other children who didn't have the help she didn't get growing up.
Boys & Girls Club of Chicago 'Youth of the Year' award-winner hopes to inspire, help others