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Youth of the Year

Celebrating the limitless potential of Benton County youth


Congratulations to our 2023
Youth of the Year!

Omar Contreras

Rogers Teen Center

Omar is a nine-year member of BGCBC who credits supportive and caring staff, his involvement with Keystone Club, and career exposure activities as key aspects of his fulfilling Club experience. As a testament to his strong leadership skills, he was hired as a Youth Development Coordinator at the Rogers Unit in 2019. Omar is a standout student who is proud of his many academic accomplishments and intends to attend the Dental School of Tennessee after graduating from high school.

We are so proud of Omar and the six other outstanding candidates who competed in the selection process by delivering their speeches and being interviewed by a panel of judges. The Youth of the Year Celebration is the culmination of a four-month, intense character and leadership development program that involves public speaking, one-on-one mentorship, essay writing, and team building. Each candidate displayed incredible strength of character in sharing their personal journey to becoming Youth of the Year.


As the Boys & Girls Club of Benton County's Youth of the Year, Omar will receive a college scholarship worth $7,500 and will continue on to compete in Arkansas State's Youth of the Year competition on April 21st. We wish Omar great success as he moves on to compete in Boys & Girls Clubs of America's Youth of the Year events. 

I never knew how important the Club would be to me or my family. The Club has become my second family. It really gave me a second chance in life, and without that second chance I really wouldn't know where I would be today.

Meet the 2021 Youth of the Year Contestants

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Samantha McCoin, Finalist

Bentonville Teen Center

Samantha was a Club member for 9 years and currently works as a Youth Development Coordinator at the Bella Vista Unit.  Her favorite activity as a Club member was participating in our Keystone Leadership Program. Samantha will graduate from Bentonville High School this year and will attend the University of Missouri in Springfield in the Fall of 2021. She plans on studying Child Development and Business Administration/Management.


Yamilette Contreras

Rogers Teen Center

Yamilette has been a Club member for 9 years and enjoys participating in all of the programs and activities the Club has to offer. As a young girl, she was involved in all Club programs but her favorites were Smart Girls, Torch Club and now Keystone. Yamilette shows great commitment to helping others, especially the homeless. She loves playing board games at the Teen Center and playing Just Dance. Yamilette currently attends Rogers New Technology and her favorite hobby is photography, which she hopes to pursue as a career.  


Jaheidi Garcia

Rogers Teen Center

Jaheidi has been a Club member for 9 years and has been involved in many programs such as Smart Moves, Cooking Matters, Torch Club, Smart Girls and Keystone. She has a passion for helping others and loves volunteering at the Humane Society for Animals.  Jaheidi enjoys playing soccer and board games with her friends at the Teen Center. Jaheidi attends Rogers New Technology High School and hopes to either attend college for fashion design or enroll in cosmetology school.  

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Nathaniel Ventura

Rogers Teen Center

Nathaniel has been a Club member for 10 years and currently works for the Club he grew up in, the Rogers Unit. As a young boy growing up in the Club he enjoyed tournaments such as video games and smashball and participating in Torch Club. Nathaniel was elected to be president of Torch Club and led his group to winning the first place national award in Education for a homeless sleepout simulation in which Club members experienced homelessness. After joining the Teen Center, Nathaniel began participating in Keystone and was elected to be an officer. He plans on attending the University of Arkansas to obtain a degree in Business Management. 


Penelope Martinez

Rogers Teen Center

Penelope has been a Club member for 11 years and has participated in many programs that the Club has to offer. Her favorite programs were Torch Club, Smart Girls and Keystone. She currently works at Mirabella’s Table but loves to spend time babysitting her little sister. Penelope is a junior at Rogers New Technology High School and plans to attend UCA to major in Physical Therapy after graduating.

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Jocilyn Cummings

Bentonville Teen Center

Jocilyn is a senior at Bentonville High School and is currently taking online classes through NWACC in hopes to obtain her Associate Degree when she graduates from high school.  She aspires to become a teacher and hopes to break the norm of traditional teaching methods, replacing them with a more open and accepting environment.  Jocilyn loves painting, and anytime you walk in the Bentonville Teen Center you can find her painting a new masterpiece.  She is also an active participant in Keystone and loves volunteering and giving back to her community.


About the Youth of the Year Program

The Youth of the Year program recognizes and seeks to celebrate the remarkable lives of Boys & Girls Club of Benton County members who have distinguished themselves as leaders and mentors and have risen above challenging circumstances.  During the process, a finalist from each site completes a rigorous process of interviews, essays and presentations before a panel of judges, comprised of community leaders. The judges then determine who will be awarded the Boys & Girls Club of Benton County Youth of the Year title based on leadership qualities, service to the community, academic achievement, letters of recommendation, written essays and public speaking skills.

Thank You to Our 2021 Sponsors!

Presenting sponsor


founder sponsor


champion sponsors

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ruby sponsors

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platinum sponsors

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gold sponsors

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silver sponsors

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in-kind & Media sponsors

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