On Wednesday, March 19th, three Nebraska teens met before a crowd of more than 60 supporters to compete for the title of Nebraska State Youth of the Year. The youth shared their stories of the challenges they faced and the impact the Boys & Girls Clubs had on their growth and development as a young adult.\n\nThree judges determined Jabaree Culliver, an 18-year-old graphic design student at UNO and 10-year member of the Westside Boys & Girls Club winner of the Nebraska State Youth of the Year Title, making Jabaree the most distinguished among over 10,000 members in the state of Nebraska.\n\n\n\nIn his speech, Jabaree detailed his struggles with the burden of having to exude constant strength as the man of the house from such a young age as his father had abandoned his family, while painfully witnessing his mother battle stage four colon cancer. He described how the Club was a great support system and had become a second family to him. He also shared how the Boys & Girls Club was a place that allowed him to be a kid and has set a foundation for who he has become through various Club Programs.\n\nAfter the announcement of the Nebraska State Youth of the Year title, which comes with a $1,000 college scholarship, a visibly emotional Jabaree stood at the podium to share his gratitude.\n\n“Thanks to all of you who made this possible and especially the staff of the Westside Club,” Culliver said.\n\nThe Nebraska State Youth of the Year, Jabaree Culliver will compete against 13 other state winners for the Midwest Regional Youth of the Year title in Chicago this July. The Midwest Regional Youth of the Year will join five winners from across the country, each receiving a $10,000 scholarship as they compete for the national title. The National Youth of the Year receives up to an additional $50,000 in scholarships and is installed by the President of the United States.