Donte McDonald Jr., a senior at Southport High School, will compete for the Indiana Youth of the Year title after being named the Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis Youth of the Year in October.
McDonald has been a member of the Keenan-Stahl Boys & Girls Club for 11 years. Both of his parents were also Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis members.
The Youth of the Year designation is the highest honor a member can receive. It recognizes young people for their contributions to their family, school, community and club, as well as personal challenges and obstacles they have overcome.
“The club is truly like my second home, and my extended family,” McDonald said in a press release. “I can say that the club has provided me with so many tools that will be used for me to live a productive life with intent and not by accident.”
Other Youth of the Year nominees:
• Cortez Carter (LeGore Boys & Girls Club, attends Ben Davis High School)
• Kylie Graves (Finish Line Boys & Girls Club, attends Lawrence North High School)
• Heaven Longmire (Wheeler-Dowe Boys & Girls Club, attends Shortridge High School)
• Dayinairia Misiewicz (Lilly Boys & Girls Club, attends Christel House at Manual High School)
Students start by filling out applications, writing essays and interviewing with board members and community partners, who select one youth to represent their club in the city-wide competition.
“The ‘Youth of the Year’ program is an opportunity to showcase our city’s most inspirational young people,” Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis CEO Maggie Lewis said in a statement. “I cannot think of a better way to celebrate and honor not only Donte, but all of our nominees, for their commitment to our clubs, for serving as mentors to fellow members and serving as living proof that great futures start at our clubs.”