CeCe Cuza-Howard has been named the Boys & Girls Club of Venice’s Youth of the Year winner. Cuza-Howard is a junior at ánimo Venice Charter High School and has been a club member for eight years. Her goal is to either attend Stanford University or Spelman College in Atlanta. In addition to the honor, she will receive a $2,000 college scholarship on behalf of the club and event sponsors.
“I am very thankful to everyone at the club for being there for me through the years,” said Cuza-Howard. “The club is an amazing place for a young person to get support for their education and dreams.”
Being named Youth of the Year is the highest honor a Boys & Girls Club member can receive. The title recognizes outstanding contributions to a member’s family, school, community, and the Boys & Girls Club. This program was founded over 60 years ago through the generosity of the Reader’s Digest Foundation.
“CeCe is an outstanding representative of the club,” said Executive Director Erikk Aldridge. “She demonstrates that you don’t have to always have everything placed on a tee for you to be successful, and that there is no better measure of a person’s character than their internal desire.”
Cuza-Howard beat out two outstanding finalists, Cesar Muñoz, a 17-year-old senior at Venice High School, and Miracle Evans, a 15-year-old sophomore at Palisades Charter High School. Both runners-up will receive a $500 college scholarship.
Cuza-Howard moves on to the state competition against other Boys & Girls Club members for the California Youth of the Year title and a $1,000 college scholarship. The winner from California will go on to compete for the title of Pacific Regional Youth of the Year and a $10,000 college scholarship.
The five regional winners will travel to Washington, D.C., in September 2008 to compete for the title of BGCA’s National Youth of the Year. The National Youth of the Year receives an additional $15,000 college scholarship and is installed by the President in an Oval Office ceremony.