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April 20, 2023 | Press Release

Sandusky teen is named Ohio Boys & Girls Clubs Youth of the Year

Samarion Newell, a Sandusky High School senior and a Club member since the age of 12, today was named the 2023 Ohio Boys & Girls Clubs Youth of the Year at the competition in Columbus.

The reigning Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio Youth of the Year now moves on to regional competition in June in Chicago. Samarion, a multiple-sport athlete who plans to study finance in college, is a member of the Student Council, National Honor Society, United Black Students and Business Professionals of America at Sandusky High and a leader at his Club.

Samarion was awarded a $20,000 scholarship. The check was presented by Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted.

“I am truly honored to win this award and represent the youth of the state of Ohio,” Samarion said.

The last BGCNEO member to win the state title was Akron’s Abrianna Johnson in 2021.

This school year, Samarion has played varsity soccer, basketball and tennis for Sandusky High in addition to gaining college credits through his studies. He is also an officer in the Keystone Club, a leadership group, at BGCNEO’s Sandusky Teen Center and volunteers in the community.

“We are extremely proud of Samarion and the hard work he puts into everything he does. He is such a great ambassador for Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio,” BGCNEO CEO Allen Smith said.

The competition, which included local winners from Clubs across the state, was part of the 2023 Ohio Boys & Girls Clubs Youth Summit. 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 50 locations in five counties.