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Youth of the Year 2019

Character and Leadership

Wayne Resident Thomas Luchetta Selected as Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest NJ's Youth of the Year

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest New Jersey has announced its Youth of the Year, Thomas Luchetta of Wayne. Those named Youth of the Year embody the values of leadership, service, academic excellence and healthy lifestyles; they exemplify the critical and life-saving impact Boys & Girls Clubs make in transforming and saving kids’ lives. 

Luchetta represented the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest New Jersey in the New Jersey State Youth of the Year competition, which culminated at an awards ceremony in June. Youth of the Year finalists participate in a formal interview in front of a distinguished panel of judges. Each youth is evaluated on their public speaking, essays, interview, academic merit and overall application quality.    

Luchetta is a junior at Wayne Hills High School and has been attending programs at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest New Jersey’s Wayne Unit since 2007. He is currently working as a junior counselor and is an active member of the Keystone Club, which provides leadership development opportunities for young people ages 14 to 18 and activities in three focus areas: academic success, career preparation and community service.  

Luchetta enjoys giving back. “This past year as a junior counselor I became very close to two brothers, ages 8 and 6, who love soccer,” he said. “I wanted to do something special for them for Christmas, so through a family connection I was able to get them a personally autographed soccer ball from a professional soccer player from Italy. Seeing their faces light up when I presented them with their gifts, I realized the true meaning of giving.” 

Luchetta’s favorite subjects in school are Computer Arts Design and Auto Shop; he plans to work in the automotive industry. He has been a member of the varsity bowling team all three years. He received Honorable Mention All-County in his freshman year and 1st Team All-County in his sophomore and junior years. He also received Honorable Mention All-State his sophomore year.  

“I have seen Thomas grow up here at the Club, and this past year you couldn’t help but notice his growth,” said Dan Dipsey, Wayne Unit Director at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest New Jersey. “He has made a transformation from Club member to volunteer to Club staff. Today he can be found on a daily basis at the Club engaging and mentoring Club staff as a walking billboard on how the Club can impact one’s life. We are honored to have someone like Thomas Luchetta represent us at the State level of the Youth of the Year competition.”