Venice High School senior Destiny Clark was selected as Youth of the Year of the Boys and Girls Club of Venice at an award ceremony at Google on the evening of Feb. 21. Out of the 13 high school students who were acknowledged at the ceremony for this long time tradition, 11 were from Venice High, alongside six middle school students who represented the Junior Youth of the Year.
As a result of her victory, Clark was presented a check for $5,000 that would go towards scholarship money, as well as a certificate from the LA County that acknowledged her for her achievements and a crystal-like trophy. As the representative for the Boys and Girls Club of Venice, Clark will move onto the next round where she will be competing with other students from other Boys and Girls Clubs from Los Angeles County.
About 100 attendees, amongst them generous donors, eager board members and supportive family members, intermingled in the Google building in Venice, filling it with excited chatter. Google provided an extravagant buffet that included barbeque sliders and spa water for everyone. A photobooth with a backdrop created out of original club members’ artwork bustled with groups of friends gathering to capture the moment.
In addition to Clark, the other applicants were: Amya Cooper, Joseph Cotton, Angie De La Rosa, Ernesto Gonzalez, Erick Hernandez, Kaylee Howze, Athena Koon, Alex Lopez, Shashine Nnchetman, Monica Soliman, Imari Stevenson and Hannah Velasquez.
Teen Director Sean Mulligan commenced the ceremony by explaining the significance of Youth of the Year in terms of the process and requirements for the students, followed by Art Director Lalo Marquez and Education Director Christian Londono.
Site Coordinator Olivia Mariapen and Workforce Development Coordinator Jasmine Moore took the 13 Youth of the Year contestants to the stage. They questioned the applicants on their personal club experience, motivation in applying to YoY, connection with their mentors, future plans, and what kept them coming back to the club.
At the end of the questions, the judges announced Clark as the winner.