Boys & Girls Clubs Youth Of The Year Meets State Senator

 Sal Dovi, Chief Operating Officer, BGCUC; Justin Phillips; Senator Raymond J. Lesniak; Candace Barnes, Elizabeth Teen Director, BGCUC.

Sal Dovi, Chief Operating Officer, BGCUC; Justin Phillips; Senator Raymond J. Lesniak; Candace Barnes, Elizabeth Teen Director, BGCUC. (Photo courtesy of BGCUC)

TRENTON — On Thursday, May 30 at the New Jersey Statehouse, Boys & Girls Clubs of Union County, 2013 Youth of the Year Justin Phillips met with Senator Raymond J. Lesniak as part of the Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey’s State Youth of the Year Program and Legislative Lunch. The Senator and Phillips were participated in a Cablevision taping for an upcoming segment of “Meet the Leaders”.

Lesniak, a lifelong resident of Elizabeth, has been serving in the New Jersey State Senate since 1983, where he represents the 20th Legislative District. Before entering New Jersey’s upper house, the Senate, Lesniak served in the General Assembly from 1978 to 1983.

Phillips, 17, a future Civil Engineer hopeful, received a $1,000 scholarship to pursue their post secondary education and will compete against other local Boys & Girls Club winners in the State for the New Jersey Youth of the Year title on June 4 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford.

The Youth of the Year program, which is administered by Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and has been nationally sponsored by the Reader’s Digest Foundation since 1947, recognizes outstanding effort and contributions by a club member to their family, school, community and Boys & Girls Club, as well as having overcome personal challenges and obstacles.

A senior at Saint Mary’s of the Assumption High School in Elizabeth, Phillips has grown up in a single parent household and has grown into a mature young man. He values and believes deeply in community service, respect to self and others, dedication and hard work, whether at home, in school or at the Elizabeth Club.

“It was an honor for Justin to have the opportunity to meet the Senator,” said Russell Triolo, Chief Executive Officer, Boys & Girls Clubs of Union County. “We at the Boys & Girls Club would like to thank Senator Lesniak for taking time from his busy schedule to spend time with this deserving young adult.”

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Union County, which operates facilities in Union, Roselle, Plainfield, Elizabeth and Hillside, serves over 7,500 children. They seek to inspire and enable young people, who need them most, to realize their full potential and have provided opportunity for youth since 1955. They are part of a national network of some 4,000 neighborhood-based facilities, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, which serves more than 4.6 million young people annually, in all 50 states and on U.S. military bases worldwide. Known as “The Positive Place for Kids,” the Clubs provide guidance-oriented character development programs on a daily basis for children 6-18 years old, conducted by a full-time professional staff. Key Boys & Girls Club programs emphasize leadership development, education and career exploration, financial literacy, health and life skills, the arts, sports, fitness and recreation, and family outreach.

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