BGCBI honors Youth of the Year, volunteers

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Pahoa club member Jordyn Alexandra Brooks-Mathew, 14, was named the Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island’s 2016 Youth of the Year during its March gala at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel.

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Pahoa club member Jordyn Alexandra Brooks-Mathew, 14, was named the Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island’s 2016 Youth of the Year during its March gala at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel.

The Youth of the Year program is Boys & Girls Club of America’s premier youth recognition program for club members. The program promotes and celebrates service to club, community and family, academic performance, moral character, life goals and poise and public speaking ability.

Jordyn received a $1,000 scholarship and competed in the state Youth of the Year event March 30 at the Capitol in Honolulu.

Nicholas Miguel, 18, of the Hilo club is the BGCBI runner-up.

The Big Island Youth of the Year event also was a time to honor the following community supporters who are instrumental in BGCBI’s success:

Newton J. Chu Esq., Honoree of the Year

Chu is an attorney and director at Torkildson, Katz, Moore, Hetherington & Harris and a board member emeritus. Active in many East Hawaii community service organizations, Chu served as the indispensable board secretary at a time of significant transition for the club.

His sense of humor and grace under fire as master of ceremonies also has enlivened many BGCBI events through the years.

Puna Lions Club and Waiakea Lions Club, Champions for Youth

The Puna Lions Club and Waiakea Lions Club have supported BGCBI by providing mentoring, equipment, funds and many hours of skilled labor to improve and upkeep BGCBI Club locations around the island.

The Trustees of the Hilo Boarding School, Foundation Award

The Hilo Boys Club started as a program of the Hilo Boarding School Trust in 1952. In the years since, the trustees of the Hilo Boarding School have remained strong supporters of the Boys & Girls Club movement and Big Island youth.

This special award is in recognition of the trustees’ steadfast commitment to supporting Big Island youth and their long relationship with the Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island.

Dolly Kailiawa, Pahala club director, 10 Years of Service Award

A lifelong supporter and advocate for youth and her community, Kailiawa joined the Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island’s team as a youth development specialist in 2006. In the time since, she became the Pahala club director and now serves as club director for the Pahala Club and the Ocean View outreach site.

Kailiawa is a strong leader in the club and the Ka‘u community as demonstrated by the partnerships she has built and the staff and youth she has mentored.

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Zavi Brees-Saunders, BGCBI chief executive officer

Brees-Saunders was given an award by the board of directors for leadership and service to the youth of the Big Island. The board expressed its gratitude to her for leading the organization during a time of transition.

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