Precious Wilson Named 2009 State Youth of the Year < Return to News

Precious Wilson of the Ladmo Branch to Compete for Regional Title

Phoenix, Ariz – April 21, 2009 – 17-year-old Precious Wilson of Tempe was named Boys & Girls Club State Youth of the Year at the 9th Annual Arizona Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs Legislative Breakfast presented by the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on the morning of Tuesday, April 21.   Wilson, a nine-year member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley’s Ladmo Branch in Tempe stays active with ballet classes, playing violin and cello, church ministries, choir, cross-country, countless hours of community service with Arizona Veterans and cleaning up the neighborhood where her Club is located.

Precious is a senior at Marcos De Niza High school and plans to attend Northwood University in Palm Beach, Florida when she graduates.  Wilson will double major in Business Management and Dance and own her own dance studio someday.  As State Youth of the Year Wilson takes home a $1,000 scholarship from Readers Digest and a $1,800 scholarship from the Fiesta Bowl.  Additionally, Wilson has already received a $20,000 educational fund from The Victoria Lund Foundation, a supporter of the East Valley Youth of the Year Banquet.  

Three semifinalists include 17-year-old Peter Anderelli of Fountain Hills, 18-year-old Christina Eastin of Bullhead City and 18-year-old Stephanie Gonzales of Yuma. The remaining five candidates include:  Terry Porter, a former NBA All-Star player and member of the Boys & Girls Clubs Hall of Fame spoke to the teenagers. “These candidates have done an unbelievable job,” Porter said during his speech.  “It’s up to us to help young kids get a higher education.  We honor kids who make the most of a great opportunity and to the supporters who made it possible.”  Judges for the 2009 competition included Win Holden of Arizona Highways Magazine and the Fiesta Bowl Board, Chief Pennie Gillette-Stroud of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Honorable Cecil Patterson, Retired Arizona Court of Appeals Judge, LuAnn Leonard of the Arizona Board of Regents and Marc Martinez, Reporter/Anchor for Fox 10 News.  

After the legislative breakfast, Wilson and the three semi-finalists visited the State Capitol where Wilson led the pledge of allegiance on the floor of the Arizona House of Representatives.  Wilson now gears up for the regional competition to be held in July.  The regional winner will then advance to the National Youth of the Year competition in Washington, D.C. in September and meet President Barack Obama in the Oval Office.  

Sponsored by Reader’s Digest, the National Youth of the Year program is designed to promote and recognize service to the community and Club, academic performance, contributions to family and spiritual life.  The five regional winners will each receive $10,000 in educational scholarship from Reader’s Digest and the overall national winner will receive $15,000 in educational scholarship. 

The Arizona Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs Youth of the Year competition has produced regional and national winners.  One of those regional winners, Donald E. Smith from the Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley, captured the national title in 2002.  Coincidently, Smith attended the same Club as Wilson.  For more information or for photo requests, contact Mindee Padilla at or 480.820.3688.  

About the Boys & Girls Clubs Arizona Alliance
The Boys & Girls Clubs Arizona Alliance ( is made up of 21 Organizations comprising 72 Clubs across the state.  Those Clubs offer programs and services which promote and enhance the development of boys and girls by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging and influence.  Boys & Girls Clubs in Arizona serve over 140,000 kids each year, and that number continues to grow.  Boys & Girls Clubs are a safe place to learn and grow -- all while having fun, making it truly The Positive Place for Kids.

Download Press Release (PDF)