We are proud to announce the winners of the 2008 BGCH Youth of the Year Competition.
Jazzlyn Pasion-Saflor, a Junior from the Kapa`a, Kauai Clubhouse will represent the BGCH as our 2008 Youth of the Year! Some of you may recall Jazzlyn from the 2006 Youth of the Year Academy. She is an amazing young woman who, despite challenges in her young life, stays positive and has dedicated herself wholeheartedly to her Club as a LIT leader and tahitian dance instructor.
Benjie Baclig is our repeat Speech of the Year Winner as he also won this award in 2007. Also from the Island of Kauai, he represents the Waimea Clubhouse. Benjie's speech about breaking free from the chain of anger in his family was inspirational, and he delivered with eloquence, confidence and poise beyond his years.
Alliance members at the competition were also so moved by a third speech that we created a special award "Most Inspirational Speech" to Raymond Berdon, a sophomore from Waianae. We asked Raymond to deliver his speech at our Youth of the Year Luncheon, and he graciously agreed. You may also remember Raymond as the young man who delivered the pule at last year's Luncheon.
The Alliance, represented by our YOY Academy co-chairs Forest and Umma, also awarded certificates of completion to each YOY Finalist. As we have seen through the Academy and at the YOY Competition, ALL of our Finalists are incredibly inspirational in their own right — they survived and thrived despite tough circumstances — and deserve a celebration of their accomplishments and their contributions to BGCH. So, let's give them a spectacular 2008 YOY Luncheon, provide an opportunity for our Finalists to share their stories, and inspire a next generation of YOY finalists and teen leaders!
Finally, a big MAHALO to BGCH administrative staff, especially John Fujioka and Debbie Siah for their assistance throughout the YOY Academy and David Nakada for his constant support; YOY Academy Co-chairs Umma Kayvalyam and Forest Frizzell for taking the YOY Academy to the next level; BGCH Clubhouse Staff, especially Christian Naea of the Kapa`a Clubhouse, Lori Respicio of the Hale Pono Clubhouse, Lynell Vaesau of the Waianae Clubhouse, and Kim Hoang of the Spalding Clubhouse; our generous YOY partners including Toastmasters, Macy's, Winner's Camp and Gold's Gym; and all Alliance members, especially those who helped out with the Academy like Chris, Darcie, and Marie, who were regulars at the weekly Saturday YOY workshops, and Staci and Jen, who helped us at Macy's and the Competition.
Liane Nomura-Siu, Alliance President