Boys & Girls Clubs of Siouxland name “Youth Of The Year”

Published: Feb. 20, 2023 at 10:39 PM CST
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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - The goal of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Siouxland is to help young people reach their full potential. Monday night the organization did just that while honoring four Sioux City teens.

This year, the club named 15-year-old West High Student Anika Baker the “Youth of the Year.” The award came with a $2,000 scholarship. In accepting the award, Baker talked about her journey to find Boys and Girls Clubs, and how it changed the trajectory of her life.

Also honored with a $500 scholarship were 13-year-old Eliezer Julaj, 13-year-old Mia Franco, and 12-year old Gracie Carrell. All three attend West Middle School.

The club’s executive director says the whole experience was worthwhile for the teens. “The experience is really critical, because this is, you know, a really difficult process. For some of them, it gets kids out of their comfort zone. And we ask them to do some really hard, really challenging things,” Meredeth Treppa, Executive Director for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Siouxland.

The guest speaker at the award ceremony was Koryatt Woodruff, who is a former “Youth of the Year” winner.

Woodruff graduated from West High School, and spent time on the Briar Cliff University football team before transferring to Division 2 Pittsburg State in Kansas. He’s is an NFL draft prospect, and credits lessons from the Boys and Girls Club with helping him reach his goals.

“The boys club gave me stability, you know, just gave me a place where I could come every day, after school and do what I love to do and learn and play sports and thrive athletically and, and it just gave me sort of a safe place to be who I am,” Woodruff said.

Woodruff said he was honored to be the guest speaker Monday night.