Maui 2015 Youth of the Year to be Announced

February 11, 2015, 12:50 PM HST · Updated February 11, 12:56 PM
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By Wendy Osher

The Boys and Girls Club of Maui will honor several members during the 2015 Gene & Ruth Freedman Youth of the Year Competition and Celebration on Wednesday, Feb. 25 at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center.

During the event, organizers will also announce their selection for 2015 youth of the year based on criteria that includes leadership, accomplishments, academic excellence, healthy lifestyles, and service to others.

Mason Aquino. File photo courtesy Representative Angus L. K. McKelvey.

Mason Aquino. File photo courtesy Representative Angus L. K. McKelvey.

The individual will then be considered for state and national recognition, with the National Youth of the Year candidate serving as ambassador for the club and a voice for the nation’s young people.

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Last year, Maui’s Mason Aquino, who is now a freshman a the University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa, went on to win the state title after being honored with the Maui award.  Once homeless, Aquino was embraced at the Boys & Girls Club of Maui and underwent what organizers call a life-changing experience.

“We are so proud of this amazing and endearing young man. A funny thing happens when you tell kids they matter, they believe you. Community partners, donors, and supporters help to make programs like Youth of the Year possible,” said leaders at the Boys & Girls Club of Maui in an event announcement.

The Feb. 25 event will include candidate speeches at 6 p.m., followed by a reception and entertainment at 7 p.m. in the Yokouchi Pavilion.

***Video of the current Youth of the Year, Mason Aquino’s winning Maui Youth of the Year speech at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s Castle Theater, courtesy the Boys & Girls Club of Maui.

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