Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metro Area
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News Release
Youth of the Year Candidates Together
Youth of the Year Candidates Together
Wilson High School Freshman to Represent Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metro at State-Wide Event (Photo) - 11/06/19


November 6, 2019

Last Friday, November 1, Blazers Boys & Girls Club member and Wilson High School freshman Joliesse Carmona-Perez was named the 2020 Portland Metro Youth of the Year.  

An outspoken and inspiring young woman, Joliesse aspires to become a lawyer and politician in order to advocate for others. She has been the recipient of multiple awards, including Outstanding Leadership & Excellence in Community Service and Student of the Month. Her innovative ideas have made a difference in her academic community: founding a school newsletter, becoming Chief Editor and distributing an advice column to peers, and combating bullying by creating a student leadership team that recognizes academic successes and provides mentorship to younger students. Joliesse currently serves on the Youth Against Violence Committee for the Multnomah County Youth Commission.  

Five other outstanding local members also vied for the 2020 Youth of the Year title, including Arianna Perez-Garcia (YouthForce), TreNisha Shearer (Regence Club),  La’Markus Causey (Rockwood Club), Gia Sevier (Blazers Club), and Alexa Ramirez-Hernandez (Wattles Club and YouthForce). These youth were recognized as title finalists that uphold and represent our Clubs’ core values, receiving $500 scholarships along with their own prize packages.  

Judges heard speeches and interviewed each of the six candidates at the Blazers Club prior to the Youth of the Year Celebration. During the luncheon, each candidate shared their story and speeches with an audience of families, Boys & Girls Clubs staff and members of the public before the judges announced the winner. 

In addition to the title, Joliesse received a $1000 scholarship and a prize package containing a new backpack, laptop, and other items to help her achieve academic success. Next March, Joliesse will represent the Portland Metro Clubs in the statewide Youth of the Year selection process, held in Portland, Oregon. 


Established in 1947, Youth of the Year is Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s (BGCA) premier recognition program for Club members. Youth of the Year promotes service to Club, community and family; academic success; life goals; and poise and public speaking ability. Celebrations are held at the local, statewide, regional, and nationwide level, each tier awarding scholarships to help youth pursue their academic aspirations. The nationally chosen Youth of the Year acts as a role model and advocate representing BGCA throughout the next year. 


Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metro empowers more than 4,000 youth each year to discover their full potential through impactful after-school and summer programs. Clubs are designed to support kids and teens as they develop the qualities they need to achieve academic success, become responsible leaders, and live healthy lives. Today, the Clubs operate ten facilities located throughout the metropolitan area, including school-based programs in the Reynolds and North Clackamas School Districts. Learn more at

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