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2022 Youth of the Year named for Boys and Girls Club of Hartford names

"The Boys and Girls Club shaped me into finding my voice and being heard."

HARTFORD, Conn. — Fostering new generations of community leaders, Boys and Girls Clubs of Hartford have selected local high school senior Carl T, for its 2022 Youth of the Year.

"The Boys and Girls Club can be a safe space for kids to go after school and great futures really start here," explained Carl.

This is something Carl said he knows firsthand. He's been going to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Hartford at Trinity College after school every day since he was in first grade.

"The Boys and Girls Club shaped me into finding my voice and being heard," said Carl.

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This is what he said he hopes to pass on to others as Youth of the Year. Carl said the title holds a lot of power, and he hopes to inspire.

"I get to advocate for all the young members and each club, and be their voice," said Carl.

Matt Broderick with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford explained that the Youth of the Year is the highest honor that the Boys and Girls Clubs bestow each year.

On its website, Boys and Girls Clubs of America said that it's a way to foster a new generation of leaders, fully prepared to live and lead in a diverse, global and integrated world economy. All of which are qualities Carl illustrates in and out of the clubs.

"He's indictive of everything we want our kids to be. He is a hard-working kid; he's a talented kid," said Broderick.

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Broderick said Carl was shy and quiet when he first joined the club 12 years ago. And seeing him now, is an honor, especially as he pays it forward with various leadership roles and peer mentoring.

"As I look at how he's taken advantage of the opportunities and what that's done for his life, we're really proud," said Broderick.

With a new title on his resume as Youth of the Year, Carl said the sky is the limit.

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"When I graduate I wanna become a social worker and guide the people who look like me in the right direction, so they're not in the street, I want them in school," stressed Carl.

On May 18 at the South End Boys & Girls Club from 5:30 – 8:30. Carl is making a speech during the club's annual GREAT Futures Celebration

Raquel Harrington is the Race and Culture reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at rharrington@fox61.news Follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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