Just two words captured the moment late Tuesday afternoon at the Boys and Girls Club when teen director Raytrell Caldwell received the news about the national contest to determine the Youth Development Professional of the Year -- "You won!!"
He strolled through the door to the learning center at the Royall Avenue site under false pretenses, admitted Jacqueline Kannan, development director.
There were a string of "little white lies," she said, including telling him that the teens who appeared in his submission video were going to be interviewed.
Last month, Caldwell and the club learned he was one of five finalists in the country vying for the award. The others included clubs in Denver, Colorado, Venice, California, Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Greater Kansas City, Missouri.
The contest required a two-minute video -- filmed by Wes Johnson of Goldsboro -- and featured testimonials from youth at the club and footage of his interactions in the program.
Boys and Girls Club of America created the award to highlight the impact that club staff members have on young lives. An estimated 100 submissions poured in from around the country before the field was narrowed down to five.
Determined by a public vote, the local club, and Caldwell, emerged the winner.
Director Mary Ann Dudley hired Caldwell to the position in 2013. But he had been serving at the club for eight years before that.
Soon after moving from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to work on base in 2001, he became a volunteer at the club.
As Caldwell made his entrance Tuesday afternoon, he was quickly surrounded by youth, handing him papers that bore the list of prizes that await him.
In addition to a $10,000 donation for the club, Caldwell and a guest will spend three days in New York City, where he will be the subject of a digital billboard in Times Square for 30 days and attend "Iceman Cometh" on Broadway starring Denzel Washington.
"Denzel has requested that Raytrell come on April 26-28 for a meet and greet," Kannan said. "And then we're taking him to San Diego to the national Boys and Girls Club conference May 1-5."
"Can we bring Denzel down here to Goldsboro?" Caldwell quipped, before expressing his appreciation, starting with the club staff.
"I thank all y'all -- Charity (Johnson), Jacqueline (Kannan), Mary Ann (Dudley) and especially Marvin (Ford)."
With that, he looked out over the crowd of club members and incorporated them into his acceptance speech of sorts.
"It's that y'all won," he said. "Pretty much just everybody in here."
After hearing all the prizes that come with the recognition, one youth in the crowd called out, "He's lucky!"
"He is lucky," Dudley said.
Amid congratulations by the board members and youth, one teen shook Caldwell's hand and announced, "You're a winner!"
Caldwell admitted afterward that the unfolding of events had been a bit surreal.
"It kind of did sink in," he said. "Once I saw the sign, but I still was just thinking, 'Wow!' I couldn't even think of words.
"But I'm really happy for the club and for the staff."
Ray Burrell, a member of the club's board, said the recognition for Caldwell is a great one for the local club as well as the community.
"He does a great job. He's been doing an outstanding job," he said.