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EXCEPTIONAL MANATEE TEEN WINS YOUTH OF THE YEAR HONOR FOR BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF MANATEE COUNTY

Lourde Blanc to Now Vie for State Title and Scholarship

Bradenton, March 7, 2016 – Lorde Blanc was announced as the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County 2016 Youth of the Year. The announcement came at a Youth of the Year celebration dinner held at IMG Academy Golf Club on February 24. Lourde, a 17-year old member of The CLUB at Southeast High School, will compete against other Boys & Girls Club members for the Florida Youth of the Year title and a $5,000 college scholarship from Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA). The Youth of the Year program honors our nation’s most awe-inspiring young people on their path to great futures and encourages all kids to lead, succeed and inspire. As the new Youth of the Year for Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County, Lourde is a true example of an extraordinary young woman recognized by BGCA for her leadership, service, academic excellence and dedication to live a healthy lifestyle.

“After an intense competition between Lourde and our DeSoto and Palmetto Club Youth of the Year finalists, we are pleased to recognize her accomplishment of being named Youth of the Year. She will do a wonderful job serving as our ambassador in the community and we are excited to watch her grow as she prepares for the state title,” expressed Dawn Stanhope, President of Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County.

“My time at the Club has made me realize my value to others. It opened my eyes to the world around me,” said Blanc, a junior at Southeast High School and Club member for three years.

George Schrier, Assistant Principal at Southeast High School, has known Lourde for two years and credits the Club for playing an important role in helping her overcome adversity to become a well-rounded, successful student and athlete. “Lourde Blanc personifies all that is positive about education,” said Schrier.
Part of Lourde’s Club Experience includes Keystone Club, a teen leadership and good character development program where members learn skills to positively impact their peers, Club and community. During the 2015 holiday season, she took part in a Keystone project that raised money to buy teddy bears for the children at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg. She also gives her time to her church’s teen outreach program, where they discuss the challenges that teens face and the steps to staying on a path to success. Blanc’s plan beyond graduating high school includes attending college for criminal justice and continuing to help teens realize their potential.
During the celebration dinner, IMG Academy awarded Lourde with a $1,000 scholarship toward college. If she wins at the state competition, she will compete for the title of Southeast Region Youth of the Year and an additional $10,000 college scholarship, renewable for four years up to $40,000. Five regional winners will advance to Washington, D.C., in September 2016, to compete for the title of BGCA’s National Youth of the Year. The National Youth of the Year will receive an additional scholarship of $25,000, renewable each year up to $100,000 and will have the opportunity to meet with the President of the United States in the White House. Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Youth of the Year recognition program is presented by Disney, with additional support from University of Phoenix and the Taco Bell Foundation.

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