Youth of the Year Banquet

  • Gesheira Lovell, 16, of Tulsa, was named 2016 Youth of the Year for The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Tulsa at a banquet held Tuesday at the Helmerich Research Center of the OSU-Tulsa Campus. The award is the highest honor a Club member can receive. Lovell represented the West Mabee Boys & Girls Club and attends Edison High School. She was awarded a $5,000 scholarship.

    Lovell is a 4.1 GPA student and president of the Keystone Club at the West Mabee Boys & Girls Club. Last year she was a national first place winner in the Boys & Girls Club of America Image Makers photography contest which earned her an all-expense paid trip to San Diego.YOY for website

    Second and third place winners were Maia Persinger, 18, New Covenant Academy, representing the Broken Arrow Boys & Girls Club and Mackenzie Bechtold, 14, Clyde Boyd Middle School in Sand Springs, representing the Sand Springs Boys & Girls Club. These winners were awarded scholarships of $2,500 and $1,000 respectively. Runners up were awarded $500 scholarships each and were Alvin Fowlkes, 17, Will Rogers College High School, representing the North Mabee club, India Noriah, 16, Booker T. Washington, representing the Mabee Red Shield club and Britanny Wilson, 14, Sapulpa High School, representing the Creek County club.

    Established in 1947, Youth of the Year is the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s premier recognition program for club members promoting service to club, community and family, academic success, strong moral character, life goals, poise and public speaking ability. There are six clubs in the Tulsa area: Broken Arrow, Mabee Red Shield, North Mabee, Sand Springs, Creek County and West Mabee. Each club selects a 14 to 18-year-old club member as a Youth of the Year who then competes to represent Tulsa in the state Youth of the Year competition.

    In addition to celebrating the accomplishments of the club members, volunteer Pam Williford, was presented with the Clay Satcher Award, which honors a member of the community who has shown commitment and support for The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Tulsa. McCoy is a longtime volunteer with the West Mabee Boys & Girls Clubs in Tulsa.

    The scholarship sponsor of the event was A G Equipment. Other sponsors included Cyclonic Valve, Peoples Bank, The Barnett Family Foundation, Pepper’s Restaurant, the LDF Companies representing area Wendy’s and Dr. Frank and Mary Shaw.

    Television personality Chera Kimiko served as the emcee.