YOY 2017

Click on photos below to learn more about these extraordinary members and their reflections on Wakeman.
Gabrielle Galletta
2017 Youth of the Year
Wakeman Boys & Girls Club
Patrick Steed
2017 Boy of the Year
Southport Clubhouse
Zula Blair
2017 Girl of the Year
Smilow-Burroughs Clubhouse
Ramir Johnson
2017 Boy of the Year
Smilow-Burroughs Clubhouse

Gabrielle Galletta Selected as Youth of the Year; Represents Club at State Capitol

Selected among nine outstanding finalists, Gabrielle Galletta has been named the 2017 Youth of the Year by Wakeman Boys & Girls Club. The Youth of the Year title is a prestigious honor bestowed upon an exemplary young person in recognition of leadership, service, academic excellence and dedication to live a healthy lifestyle. Now in its 70th year, the Youth of the Year program honors the nation’s most awe-inspiring young people on their path to great futures and encourages all kids to lead, succeed and inspire. 

Gabi was recently honored at Wakeman’s annual Youth of the Year evening at the Country Club of Fairfield. Also honored during the ceremony were Southport Clubhouse Boy of the Year Patrick Steed, Smilow-Burroughs Clubhouse Girl of the Year Zula Blair, and Smilow-Burroughs Clubhouse Boy of the Year Ramir Johnson.

Zula Blair, Girl of the Year for the Smilow-Burroughs Clubhouse, has been a Club member for 5 years, with Keystone Club, diplomas to Degrees and Girls Circle among her activities. Zula is completing her junior year at Kolbe Cathedral High School.

Ramir Johnson, Boy of the Year for the Smilow- Burroughs Clubhouse, has been a Club member for 5 years, with Keystone Club, Junior Staff and Senior Basketball League among his activities. Ramir recently graduated from Fairchild Wheeler High School and will attend North Carolina Central University in the fall.

Patrick Steed, Boy of the Year for the Southport Clubhouse, has been a Club member for 11 years, with Keystone Club, coaching and Junior Staff among his activities. Patrick recently graduated from Fairfield Prep, and will attend Georgetown University in the fall.

Gabi, a Wakeman member since second grade, is currently president of Keystone Club - Wakeman’s teen group dedicated to leadership and community service. She previously served as Keystone vice-president and treasurer. Gabi is also an accomplished student and distance runner at Fairfield Warde High School. She will attend Lafayette College in the fall, where she plans to study neuroscience and run for her college’s track and cross country teams.

“Ever since I was young… whether it was for camp or basketball, and more recently for Keystone, Wakeman has always been a place where I feel comfortable being who I really am. I have learned how to be a better friend and an overall better person from all of the role models here,” said Gabi.

Gabi represented Wakeman Boys & Girls Club at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Connecticut Youth of the Year program in the state Capitol on May 24th, where she met with Governor Dannel Malloy, state legislators and winners representing 15 other Clubs.

“Gabi has been a leader in her Club and community; she’s now part of a distinct group of young people in the Club’s history who represent the best of the Club’s values and mission,” said Dave Blagys, executive director of Wakeman Boys & Girls Club.  
About the Youth of the Year National Program
Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Youth of the Year recognition program is presented by Disney, who has supported the youth advocacy organization for more than 50 years, empowering young people to reach their full potential and providing youth with access to the tools they need to build the great futures they imagine. 

Toyota, the Signature Sponsor of Youth of the Year, is dedicated to inspiring the next generations of engineers, thinkers and leaders who will help drive the American economy. Additional support is provided by University of Phoenix, a committed partner who has worked with Boys & Girls Clubs of America on many Academic Success initiatives, and the Taco Bell Foundation, Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s premier partner for teen empowerment. 

For more information about the national Youth of the Year program, visit www.youthoftheyear.org.
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