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Portage Club member shines in Indiana State Youth of the Year competition

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Community News & People in the News

Published on May 22, 2019 with No Comments

Mother Marina Kirova is pictured with Sanja Kirova and Regional Club Director. Steve Letic.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana attended Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Indiana Alliance annual conference and State Youth of the Year Competition, capturing many awards.

Selected among several local outstanding youths, Portage Club member Sanja Kirova was named 2019 Youth of the Year for Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana. As Youth of the Year for the organization, Kirova received a $5,000 scholarship for higher education and then traveled to Indianapolis March 9 – 10 to compete for Indiana State Youth of the Year and another $5,000 college scholarship provided by Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

Kirova, as a result of all her success and accomplishments was named the 2019 Indiana State Youth of the Year. Kirova was recognized for her perseverance, leadership skills, academics, brand, life goals, and commitment to Club and community. Her state title secured a place in Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Regional Youth of the Year competition which will take place in July.

Being named Youth of the Year is the highest honor a Boys & Girls Clubs member can receive, as it recognizes outstanding contributions to a member’s family, school, community and their Boys & Girls Club organization, as well as overcoming personal challenges and obstacles. Youth of the Year encourages club members to reach their full potential by achieving academic success, leading healthy lifestyles and contributing to their communities.

Kirova exemplifies a strong moral fiberwhich influencesnot only her decisions, but also the decisions of all around her. She is a great role model. Her work in encouraging youth, particularly female youth, to engage in STEM has changed the landscape for her high school peers and Portage Club members. Sanja will be attending Columbia University in New York on a full scholarship.

Additionally, former board member for Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana Bonnie Coleman was named Indiana Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs 2018 Board Volunteer of the Year and was one of four board individuals inducted into the Alliance’s Hall of Fame. Coleman, a partner for the law firm of Hodges & Davis, is the first female inducted into Indiana Alliance of Boys & Girls Club’s Hall of Fame.

Coleman was recognized for her long history with the organization, and for being instrumental in the merger as well as the development of the organization’s young professionals group known as PALS. Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana also received an outstanding marketing award for communications surrounding the 2018 merger of Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County and Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana into the new cross-county organization now named Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana.

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