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Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade Names Mariano De La Espriella its 2024 Youth of the Year

Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade is proud to announce it has named Mariano De La Espriella (18), its 2024 Youth of the Year. A panel of community partners served as the judges to select this year’s Youth of the Year.

To achieve the title of Youth of the Year on any level, Club members must embody the values of leadership and service, academic excellence and a healthy lifestyle. They should exemplify the critical impact that Boys & Girls Clubs have on the lives of young people. The scoring includes candidate essays, an interview, a speech, letters of recommendation and overall application quality.

Mariano, a senior at Miami Killian Sr. High, has been a member of the Kendall Club since 2022 and is currently working at Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade as a part-time team member. Mariano’s personal and academic growth has been a source of inspiration for his friends, peers and Club counselors, who have witnessed him persevere despite having many challenging circumstances.

Mariano is an active member in school activities. He’s in the law magnet program, the president of the social studies honor society and is one of the leads in the school’s debate team. He will graduate from Miami Killian Sr. High in 2024 and has been awarded the Presidential Scholarship. He will then work on his Baccalaureate Degree at Miami Dade College this fall.

Mariano’s biggest contribution to Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade has been his work with the Clubs’ advocacy project, which focuses on marine conservation and bringing awareness of the harm of pollution in the oceans and wildlife. Mariano has spent time out of his weekends organizing and implementing beach and park clean-ups with his peers. He also regularly helps younger members with homework and offers mentorship whenever the opportunity presents itself.

During his time at the Club, Mariano has matured by placing his focus on his education, being a mentor to others and giving back to the community. Mariano acknowledges the Club’s impact on his success.

“We are incredibly proud of Mariano for being named the 2024 Youth of the Year,” said Alex Rodriguez-Roig, president of Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade. “He has proven to be the model ambassador for Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade as he exemplifies the Clubs’ values including leadership, service and academic success. We are proud to have Mariano represent the Club at the state level at this year’s Youth of the Year competition in Jacksonville.”

Mariano and 29 other teens from Florida Boys & Girls Clubs competed for the 2024 Florida Youth of the Year title. The winner of the state title received a $2,500 scholarship, laptop and printer.

Every year since 1955, youth from various Boys & Girls Clubs across Florida have competed for the opportunity to represent Florida as the Florida Youth of the Year. The winner of the state title then competes in the regional competition. Five regional winners then move on, and one is named the Boys & Girls Clubs of America National Youth of the Year.

The National Youth of the Year serves as both an exemplary ambassador for Boys & Girls Clubs youth and as a strong voice for all of the nation’s young people. He/she receives a new car courtesy of Toyota, as well as scholarships and cash totaling $60,000. The National Youth of the Year, along with the other four regional runners-up, then travel to Washington, D.C. and speak to members of Congress and meet the President of the United States.

For more information, please call 305.446.9910 or visit:

By ML Staff. Image courtesy of Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade


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