Sandusky teen is named BGCNEO’s Youth of the Year

Nevaeh Richardson, 17, a senior at Sandusky High School and a seven-year Boys & Girls Club member, has been chosen as the 2022 Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio Youth of the Year. 

She topped a field of four finalists and now moves on to statewide competition. 

Nevaeh participated in Keystone Club, student government, National Honor Society, Superintendent’s Executive Committee and Leading Lady Streaks. She also volunteers at Ebenezer Baptist Church’s Lifelong Learners Afterschool Program, which assists third- and fourth-graders in the Sandusky City School District. 

Vicki Slaughter, a Sandusky High School teacher and  coordinator of the church afterschool program, described Nevaeh as “one young lady who is striving to always be at the top of her game. Her smile and positive attitude are addicting. Her inspiration to be the best she can be…is overwhelming.” 

“The people at the Boys & Girls Club are like my second family,” Nevaeh said. “When I was younger, the members of the Club taught me traits like friendship, compassion and love, which helped me grow into who I am today.” 

Nevaeh is now considering colleges and is eyeing a career as a pediatric nurse practitioner. 

 Other finalists were Emma Rhoades, a senior at Ashland County West Holmes Career Center, where she is in the Early Childhood Education program; Lanai Barrett, a junior at Cleveland’s Saint Martin de Porres High School; and Breanna Wilson, a senior at East Community Learning Center in Akron.  

 The Youth of the Year competition is one of the Club’s signature programs and is open to all members ages 14-18 who meet academic standards and are involved in community and Club activities. 

 Through the Youth of the Year program, young people showcase their talents and achievements, share their hopes and dreams, and work toward a bright and positive future. Candidates emerge through year-round recognition programs in their local Clubs, progressing through state and regional events, culminating in a weeklong celebration in Washington, D.C., where one is named the National Youth of the Year – the highest honor bestowed upon a Club member. 

 Boys & Girls Clubs provide safe, fun places for kids ages 6-18 after school. Clubs focus on healthy lifestyles, academic success and character development. BGCNEO, which was formed by the 2019 merger of Clubs in Cleveland, Akron, Lorain County and Sandusky, now has 40 locations in four counties.