2017 Youth of the Year

Jamel Adams
2017 Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Illinois State Youth of the Year
Lake County Program sponsored by…

“Being a part of Boys & Girls Club of Lake County has been a rewarding and life changing experience. They helped me meet new people and get involved in the community. From helping me with homework and projects, to being there for me when I was going through tough times, the Club stayed with me every step of the way. It has served as a second family, taught me valuable lessons about leadership and manhood, and allowed me to become a Junior Program Assistant at the Club. – Jamel Adams”

Thanks in large part to a generous donation from Baxter International Inc., the Boys & Girls Club of Lake County presented Jamel Adams as the Club’s 2017 Youth of the Year (YOY).

Jamel moved on to the state competition in April and won! He was named the Illinois State Youth of the Year. More than 25 Illinois Clubs participated in the competition. Upon winning the honor, Jamel stated, “While waiting to hear who was our Illinois State Youth of the Year, I was really nervous. My heart was ready to jump out of my body. Then, I heard my name and I was really shocked that I actually won. I froze for a few seconds and then went to the stage and was just excited.”

Winning the competition comes with a $6000 scholarship from Boys & Girls Clubs of America and a new laptop computer from the Boys & Girls Club of Lake County, as well as bragging rights and the opportunity to compete for more than $100,000 in scholarship funding and a new car! Jamel will represent over 80,000 Club members across Illinois as he moves on to the regional competition and then hopefully to national.

The Club is tremendously proud of Jamel as he has overcome many obstacles to get here. All of his hard work and diligence have paid off. Youth of the Year is awarded to a Club member that has demonstrated exceptional service to the Boys & Girls Club movement, community and family, as well as a commitment to academic success, good leadership and pursuit of a life goal.

Jamel came to the Club after moving to the area from Minnesota. He did not know the community and the people in it. Through the Club, Jamel met new friends and became a part of the community. Because of the Club he developed leadership skills, volunteered locally and today is making a difference in the lives of other young people in the community.

Jamel graduates this year from New Tech at Zion Benton East. Next year, he will attend college at Western Illinois University. There, Jamel will be working toward a degree in Criminal Justice. Everyone at the Club is proud of his efforts, his growth and his determination to succeed. The Club will greatly miss Jamel and all that he gives to our younger Club members. We wish him the best in his college career!

Jamel adds, “Now that I am the Illinois State Youth of the Year, I will continue to be a leader and embrace opportunities to help make change happen for our youth as it did for me.”

About Youth of the Year

Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Youth of the Year recognition is the highest honor a Club member can achieve. The program celebrates youth who have overcome enormous odds and demonstrated exceptional character and accomplishments. Honorees are recognized for service to their Club and community, academic performance and contributions to their family. Whether or not a Club member actually goes on to become the national Youth of the Year, the time and effort invested in the development of each individual helps these young people become all they are capable of being.