|Representatives Richard Onishi and Faye Hanohano with the finalists|
Four finalists for the Youth of the Year award from the State of Hawaii Boys & Girls Clubs representing the four major islands were honored on the floor of the State House of Representatives earlier this week. At the awards luncheon following the presentation Maui's Aaren Soriano was selected as the 2013 Youth of the Year. The Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii, originally chartered in 1960, has been a subsidiary of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America since 1976. They inspire Hawaii's young people, many from disadvantaged circumstances, to become responsible citizens. The finalists honored by the House of Representatives are:
Aaren Soriano is a junior at Kamehameha High School's Maui Campus. He is an active participant in class activities and served as sophomore class president, Aaren is a member of the National Honor Society and holds a 4.0 GPA. As a survivor of domestic violence, he has selected the topic of abuse for his Senior Project. "Domestic violence is a silent epidemic that has devastating effects, not only on its victims, but on the community at large. said Aaren.
He hopes to attend either Yale or Stanford.
Katelyn Brown is an active member of the Boys & Girls Club of Schofield Barracks Teen Center and is the Military Youth of the Year. She has assisted with Schofield's Morale Welfare and Recreation special events, is active with her church's Sunday School, and has been engaged in activities such as Read to Me, Scholastic Book Fairs, and conducting food and clothing drives.
Desiree Kamelamela is a junior at Hilo High School who has been a member of the Hilo Club since she was 7 years old. Desiree's community activities include organizing a school wide food drive and helping to feed homeless families. Desiree intends to pursue her passion in a career in Fashion Design and Cosmetology and would like to own her own company.
Tosha NoheaTaylor is a senior at Kapa'a High School on Kauai and has been active in the Kapa'a Clubhouse for the past seven years. Tosha has been to Washington D.C. to witness firsthand how our federal government works, and to Soweto, South Africa where she helped renovate a Boys& Girls clubhouse.