By Stefanie Sadocha
OBHS Sophomore Brianna Barefoot was selected as the “Youth of the Year” at the OBEN Boys and Girls Club. The Youth of the Year competition originated in 1947 in order to recognize the most dedicated teens within the club. Being selected as Youth of the Year at a local club is the highest honor one can receive. These individuals have strong character, strong academic achievements, and dedication to service and leadership.
Brianna balances an extremely rigorous academic schedule and maintains excellent grades. She is a member of the National Honor Society and serves as the President of her class. Outside of school, Brianna dances five days a week and attends many competitions throughout the year. Additionally, she volunteers at the Oyster Bay Boys and Girls Club on a regular basis.
Brianna started attending the Boys and Girls Club after school each day in kindergarten, and she is appreciative of the experiences the club has given her throughout the years. Not only did the club provide her with a fun environment each day after school, but it provided her with an opportunity to create strong friendships and build her character.
Brianna was impacted by her mentors at the club as a child, so she wanted to have the same influence over other young students. She initially started volunteering at the club in sixth grade and was a member of the Torch Club. The Torch Club is a group that enables middle level students to volunteer and help younger club members with homework. Once members get to the high school level, they are able to join the Keystone Club. This group focuses on leadership and volunteer skills.
“The Keystone Club really focuses on how we can improve the Boys and Girls Club by helping out in various ways. I love working with the children. They are all so sweet and a pleasure to be around,” Barefoot reveals.
After being selected as Oyster Bay’s Youth of the Year in the local division, Brianna traveled to Albany to compete at the state level. Students are required to give a speech and participate in an interview with a panel of three judges in order to move onto the next level. The speech focuses on how the club has impacted their lives. The interview gives the judges an opportunity to learn more about their club experiences, as well as the candidates’ personal lives.
Although Brianna did not move onto the next level of the competition, she is grateful to have participated in the competition. She was able to work on her communication skills and meet new people.
Congratulations to Brianna on all of her success!