Local 7th-grader headed to area Youth of the Year competition

Published 8:39 pm Thursday, February 1, 2018


Kevin Moore Jr. has been a Boys & Girls Club member since he was five years old. Now he’s in seventh grade and on his way to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Coastal Plain’s annual Youth of the Year awards dinner, representing Beaufort County in a slate of winners from seven counties.

“Being named Youth of the Year is the highest honor a Boys & Girls Club member can receive. As Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s premier youth recognition program, the Youth of the Year title recognizes outstanding contributions to a member’s family, school, community and Boys & Girls Club, as well as personal challenges and obstacles overcome,” Theresa Gilmore, chief development officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Coastal Plain, wrote in a press release.

The P.S. Jones student was chosen to represent Beaufort County during a local competition that included a sit-down meal and interviews by a panel of judges. The questions posed to Moore and two other finalists — Zabriean Moore and Saquan Hicklen — revolved around club experience, their personal brands, academic success, leadership and character, healthy lifestyle, vision for the future, resiliency and grit, poise and public speaking and service, all of which are key tenets of the Boys & Girls Clubs philosophy.

“Each boy did a terrific job in their interviews. It was truly impressive,” said Meg Howdy, director of Washington Harbor District Alliance.

Howdy, along with Beth Page, Ray Moore, Pam Shadle, Brian Alligood, Pack Hindsley and Barbara Dell Carter were this year’s judges.

Judges were given a packet containing letters of recommendation from teachers, club mentors and more. During his interview, Moore said the “club has shown him good examples of the values in life and made him a better person.” He told judges he loves playing baseball, but ultimately, he wants to attend Harvard University and become a mathematician; his focus is on his grades, so he’ll be eligible for a scholarship.

“Barbara Dell Carter gave a testimony that when he walks in the cafeteria, he brightens everyone’s day and makes a point to speak to the kids that some avoid. He even has bought snacks for others when the money was given for him to get a snack,” Howdy’s account of the event reads.

The district Youth of the Year awards dinner takes place on Feb. 9 at the Boys & Girls Club on Fire Tower Road in Winterville. Other finalists are: Taeler Godby, representing Carteret County; Simone Rogers, representing Craven County; Madia Harris, representing Greene County; Emmanual Blount, representing Lenoir County; Alyssa Cobb, representing Martin County and Dai-Shon Donald, representing Pitt County.

The winner of district Youth of the Year will receive a $3,000 scholarship and entry into the state competition, the winner of which will be awarded an additional $1,000 scholarship and entry into the regional competition. Five regional winners will receive a $10,000 college scholarship and the national winner will receive an additional scholarship of up to $50,000. The national winner is installed by the President of the United States, according to the press release.