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Youth of the Year 2017

Character and Leadership

Wayne Resident Kayla Martello Selected as Final Four Candidate for Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey’s 2017 Youth of the Year

Wayne, NJ – June 7, 2017 - The Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest New Jersey (BGCNWNJ) is proud to announce that Kayla Martello was selected as a Final Four candidate for the Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey’s 2017 Youth of the Year.

Kayla was selected among a competitive field of 17 candidates from throughout New Jersey.

Her dedication to BGCNWNJ activities, successful academic studies (she currently carries a 4.1 GPA), volunteerism at school and BGCNWNJ, as well in the local community led to her selection as a top four candidate.

“Kayla exemplifies the character we want to instill into all children, adolescents and teenagers who walk through our doors. We are so proud of her diverse achievements, mentoring, motivation, and her commitment to the youth of BGCNWNJ. She is truly deserving of this honor,” stated Joseph Lynch, CEO of BGCNWNJ.

Kayla has been involved with BGCNWNJ for 13 years, beginning as a member on soccer and basketball teams. Later on she became a soccer referee and member of the Keystone Club. The athletic director recognized Kayla’s maturity and ability to interact well with young children and asked her to become a coach of her own soccer team.

“Regardless of the fun I had coaching a team of girls with a close friend, I understood a new found importance I had in my community; I now had younger kids looking up to me as a role model and as a guide to grow their athletic abilities, “ shared Kayla.

As time went on, she coached basketball and soccer; served as president of the Keystone Club for two years; worked at BGCNWNJ as a junior counselor during high school years and summers; and much more. Kayla found herself a second home, being at the Wayne Unit five to six days each week.

Her work doesn’t stop at BGCNWNJ. She is vice president of her senior class, and a peer leader at Wayne Valley High School. Academically she is a member of the National Honor Society and has completed 10 AP classes. Kayla was the recipient of the AP Scholar with Distinction Award.

Kayla’s community service includes volunteering through town organizations, her church, and volunteering at St. Joseph’s Wayne Hospital.

She will attend Quinnipiac University to study medicine and hopes to become a Physician Assistant.

Kayla earned a $3,500 scholarship for being selected as one of the top four candidates. After her selection, she stated, “I live day to day with the mentality that success comes from hard work. When a challenge stands in the way, the only thing you can do is try with everything you have to overcome that adversity.”