CHICOPEE — Daishany Torres was named 2018 Youth of the Year by the Boys & Girls Club of Chicopee, and will compete against other Boys & Girls Club members for the Massachusetts Youth of the Year title and a $5,000 college scholarship from Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA). The Youth of the Year program honors young people on their path to great futures and encourages all kids to lead, succeed, and inspire.
As the new Youth of the Year for the Boys & Girls Club of Chicopee, 18-year-old Torres was recognized for her leadership, service, academic excellence, and dedication to live a healthy lifestyle.
“It has been a joy watching Daishany grow as both a member and as a junior counselor. She truly represents what our organization is about,” said Jason Reed, the Chicopee club’s executive director.
Torres has been a member of the Boys & Girls Club of Chicopee Teen Center since her freshman year at Chicopee Comprehensive High School. She is a junior counselor now, working with other club members each week. She is also part of the club’s SMART Girls program, which allows members to explore their own and societal attitudes and values as they build skills for eating right, staying physically fit, getting good healthcare, and developing positive relationships with peers and adults. She has developed a passion for working with children, and will continue her education after graduation next year and hopes to open her own daycare in the future.
Locally, the Chicopee Youth of the Year program is supported by Freedom Credit Union. Torres will also be receiving $1,000 from the Donald Heroux Scholarship fund, in honor of the late Donald Heroux, a past executive director of the club.
If Torres wins at the state competition in June, she will compete for the title of Northeast Region Youth of the Year and an additional $10,000 college scholarship, renewable for four years up to $40,000. Five regional winners will advance to Washington, D.C., in September, to compete for the title of BGCA’s National Youth of the Year and an additional scholarship of $25,000, renewable each year up to $100,000.