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BGCOP Youth of the Year Takes Top Honor at Coastal Area Council Youth Competition

Anna Heath, an 11-year member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme, was named the 2014 Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Coastal Area Youth of the Year and received a $2,500 scholarship from the Coastal Area Council to help her with her college expenses. Heath was among seven Club members from Kern, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties vying for the title at the fifth-annual regional competition held March 25 at the Wedgewood Banquet Center in Ventura.

She will travel to Redwood City, Calif., the week of May 19 for the California Youth of the Year Competition. Heath will be one of eight members competing for the state title and a $10,000 college scholarship.

“We’re all very proud of Anna. She is a passionate, kind and responsible young woman who represents our Club with great pride and enthusiasm,” said Tim Blaylock, chief professional officer, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme. “I’d also like to thank our team and those who showed their support and helped guide Anna on this journey, which we hope takes her to the National Youth of the Year competition in Washington D.C.”

BGCA’s Youth of the Year program uses 10 selection criteria for the judging process, including contributions to the member’s family, school, community and Boys & Girls Club, as well as overcoming personal challenges and obstacles. Each member is required to write two essays and is evaluated on their moral character, life goals, poise and public speaking.

Heath, 17, is a senior at Pacifica High School in Oxnard and BGCOP’s 2014 Youth of the Year. Heath attributes a lot of her self-confidence and achievements to experiences she has had at the Club. She works hard in school and was in the top 30 percent of her class at the end of her junior year. She has been accepted to four universities. She plans to study kinesiology with the goal of becoming a sports therapist.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme exists to inspire and enable all young people to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. With three full-service clubs, 13 school program sites and one housing site, the organization is one of the largest of its kind in California, serving more than 9,000 members annually. The group is also the first Boys & Girls Club of its kind to open a site inside a Juvenile Justice Center in the state of California.

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