Selected among two outstanding youth, Sandra Charles-Crowl was named the Youth of the Year by Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County at the 2020 Youth of the Year Celebration Dinner held at the IMG Academy Golf Club on Tuesday, February 25. The Youth of the Year title is a prestigious honor bestowed upon an exemplary young person in recognition of leadership, service, academic excellence and dedication to live a healthy lifestyle. Now in its 73rd year, the Youth of the Year program honors our nation’s most awe-inspiring young people on their path to great futures. Sandra received a $1,000 college scholarship and laptop, and will now contend for the Florida Youth of the Year title and a $2,500 college scholarship from Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
“We wish Sandy all of the best during her next step in vying for the Florida Youth of the Year in St. Petersburg in April,” said Dawn Stanhope, President and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County.
Sandra has been a Club member for eleven years. She credits her Club with helping her improve her academics and encouraging her to step outside of her comfort zone. During her Club Experience, she has participated in Torch Club and Keystone Club, programs that focus on giving back and volunteering in the community. Sandra, now president of Keystone Club, has helped build bikes for foster children, pack hundreds of meals for the hungry and feed the homeless.
“When I first met her, she had some challenges in middle school just like any other middle school student,” recalls Leann Frink, Club Director. “Today, I see a totally different person. She has grown. She has matured. She doesn’t meet a stranger in the room. She has become someone that is looked up to by the other members of her Club. I am so proud of Sandy”
Charles-Crowl, a junior at Bayshore High School, has a 3.4 GPA and participates in varsity basketball and girls flag football. Her future plans include attending college and graduating with a degree that will allow her to become a surgical technician or pharmacist.
If Sandra is named the Florida Youth of the Year, she will contend for the title of Southeast Youth of the Year, which includes an additional $20,000 college scholarship. Six finalists will advance to Washington, D.C. in September 2020, to vie for the title of Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Youth of the Year. The National Youth of the Year will receive an additional scholarship of $50,000.