The Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich recognized Domenica Echeverria as its Youth of the Year at a dinner event this year. The Youth of the Year program annually recognizes one Club member who has made outstanding contributions to his or her family, school, community and Club. Echeverria described her experience at the Club as “transformative.”

Echeverria spoke to the audience of 260 about her experiences volunteering in the community through the Club and noted how she learned that “a single person can positively impact someone with their actions.” She credited the Club for giving her training for her first job as a lifeguard and as the place that helped her become “outgoing, compassionate and, most importantly, a leader.”

Jean H. Witmer was honored as the 2018 Champion of Youth and recognized for her passionate volunteerism at the Club. Witmer previously served as the Club’s first female president of the board of directors. During her acceptance speech she had the audience chant, “Yes We Can,” a reminder that the Club encourages all its members to succeed.

Other speakers included KR Ward, an alum of the Club representing sponsor Bank of America; Mateo Leon, a recent Club alum who is attending New York University; and Dolores Johnson, a Club member and Junior at Greenwich High School. Other candidates for the Youth of the Year, including Johnson, spoke briefly including Vanessa Maldenado, Justin Nadeau, Michael Rincon, Kevin Wing and Jean Zamora.

The event was held in the Field House of the Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich at 4 Horseneck Lane and included dinner served by Dinosaur Bar-B-Que.

This year’s event celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Youth of the Year program in Greenwich. Board members Dean Bell and Chris Harned served as event co-chairs and last year’s chairs, Nick Graziano and Greg Martinez were Honorary Co-Chairs. Bell told the audience of 260 that the Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich is a second home and family to children whether they have one parent, two parents or no parents. This theme was echoed by every speaker reinforcing the impact that Club has as the place where youth come to find their greatness.

Photographs by Cheryl Moss