02/19/07 — Mount Olive teenager named Youth of Year by Boys and Girls Clubs

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Mount Olive teenager named Youth of Year by Boys and Girls Clubs

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on February 19, 2007 1:46 PM

Saderio Simmons of Mount Olive won the Youth of the Year competition sponsored by the Wayne County Boys & Girls Clubs and will vie for the state title March 29-30.

Miss Simmons will represent the local Boys & Girls clubs in the state competition on March 29-30. The local club is hosting the competition, which will be held at the Officer's Club at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

Miss Simmons is a member of the Mount Olive club. She is a senior at Southern Wayne High School and a Lt. Col. with the school's Junior ROTC. She has been accepted at North Carolina Central University and wants to attend law school and eventually become a prosecuting attorney.

She approached Mount Olive Club Director Cynthia Jones about volunteering at the club.

"For those who work in this field that statement is the equivalent to hearing that you have won the lottery," Ms. Jones said in her nomination letter.

Ever since that afternoon, Miss Simmons has come to the club to work with its younger members. She started out helping tutor the children doing homework during Power Hour and quickly moved into other areas, like programming, helping with computers and assisting the staff in administrative work.

One of the ROTC cadets, Antwoine Kornegay, said Miss Simmons increased the number of service projects from two to four a year and thereby boosted participation by fellow cadets. He said she has also worked to improve the unit's mentoring program.

"In the past we have seen a lot of problems with implementing the system, but not this year," Kornegay said in his nomination letter. "Our mentoring program is in full effect and running smooth."

He described how Miss Simmons helped encourage the first-period class to collect cans for the Thanksgiving canned food drive.

"With her help and constant support, our class collected 150 cans," he said.

The Youth of the Year competition on each level, from local to the nationals, covers five categories, including high morals and leadership in the member's home, community, school and in their Boys & Girls Club.

Five statewide finalists will be chosen at the March event. On March 30, the finalists will give speeches, each on one of the five categories, during breakfast at the Officers Club. Interviews with judges will follow. At lunch, the state winner will be announced.