MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. – The Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester (BGCNW) honored its 2015 Youth of the Year with a Crabtree’s Kittle House reception Thursday, April 30.
More than 100 Club members, staffers, donors, dignitaries, board members, and friends of the Club gathered to recognize Nethmi DeSilva with the Club’s highest honor – the prestigious “Youth of the Year” award.
The National Youth of the Year program, a Boys & Girls Clubs of America initiative, honors Club members for developing superior leadership skills, overcoming personal challenges, achieving academic excellence, and performing outstanding service to the Club and the community. The reception and dinner was hosted by BGCNW board member John Crabtree.
A 12-year Club member, DeSilva was selected as “Youth of the Year” for her leadership, commitment, and dedication to school, home, family, and community.
In 2002, then 3-year-old Nethmi DeSilva left Sri Lanka with her family to flee civil war and to pursue the privilege of education and possibility of college. Today, as a sophomore at Fox Lane High School, she is living her family’s dream.
“The Boys & Girls Club has helped me realize my full potential and embrace my leadership skills,” said DeSilva. “Walking through the doors of the Club, I feel like I can be whoever I want, with the full support of friends, staff, and Club members.”
“The Club has taught me to always stay true to my morals,” DeSilva continued. “I am a product of everything my parents know, but as I grow and become more independent, I become a product of what I have learned – and the Club is a part of who I am.”
Youth of the Year finalists Lilian Chang, Cristy Lopez-Duarte, and Cameron Rosen were also recognized for their exceptional accomplishments. Rosen, a Fox Lane senior, was selected as the recipient of the 2015 memorial Chris Cutri Award. This award memorializes Cutri, the son of BGCNW director of operations, Barbara Cutri, and recognizes positive attitude, perseverance, kindness, and integrity.
DeSilva will also be honored as the BGCNW’s Youth of the Year at the 2015 Humanitarian Award Dinner Saturday, June 6 at the Hilton Westchester.
The 21st annual gala will recognize Brian Skanes, the Club’s former executive director, as “Humanitarian of the Year.” Skanes left the organization this spring to pursue work with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.