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Youth of the Year 2017

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Gabrielle Martinez

Gabrielle Martinez to Now Vie for State Title and Scholarship

Whittier, California, January 19th, 2017

Selected among three outstanding youth, Gabrielle has been named the Youth of the Year by The Boys & Girls Club of Whittier. All three of the nominees received $3,300 in scholarships. Gabrielle will also receive an all-expenses paid week-long educational expedition to China through the efforts of the Los Angeles Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs. 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 70th year, 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. Gabrielle will go on to the Los Angeles County competition; if she wins there she moves on to vie for the California Youth of the Year title and a $5,000 college scholarship from Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

“We are very excited for Gabrielle’s historic achievement. Not only is she the first ever Youth of the Year winner from Pico Rivera, but she truly personifies the spirit of the Boys & Girls Club mission. We are proud to be represented by her at the Los Angeles County Competition,” said Oscar Hernandez, Executive Director, Boys & Girls Club of Whittier.

Gabrielle Martinez helped shape The Club at El Rancho into what it is today, as she continues to give back to the Boys & Girls Club to further expand our programs and help with student outreach. Gabrielle serves as our Keystone President. Keystone is a leadership and community service club for teens. Since taking on this role she ensures that her peers have many volunteer opportunities within The Club, their High School and within the community. She also makes it a point to plan, with the other members of council, at least one service project a month, a monthly awareness/cultural event, a monthly recruitment event and a monthly fun mixer to reward those teens participating in the extra events at The Club.

Her vision for America’s youth and her goal as 2017 Youth of the Year winner is to minimize bulling in her community and spreading awareness of major issues like depression and anxiety in teens.

 She wants to be a voice for those that need support and have fallen victim of bullying. Understanding firsthand how hard it is to deal with depression; she plans to start a support group for young people that are currently struggling with social issues.

Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Youth of the Year recognition program is presented by Disney, who has supported the youth advocacy organization for more than 50 years, empowering young people to reach their full potential and providing youth with access to the tools they need to build the great futures they imagine. Toyota, the Signature Sponsor of Youth of the Year, is dedicated to inspiring the next generations of engineers, thinkers and leaders who will help drive the American economy. Additional support is provided by University of Phoenix, a committed partner who has worked with Boys & Girls Clubs of America on many Academic Success initiatives, and the Taco Bell Foundation, Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s premier partner for teen empowerment.

If Gabrielle wins at the state competition, she will compete for the title of Pacific 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 2017, to compete 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 $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.

For more information about the Youth of the Year program, visit