Boys and Girls Club names Utah Youth of the Year

Feb 8, 2020, 7:34 AM
Senator Luz Escamilla congratulated and introduced Sheila Hernandez Salazar with the 2020 Boys & Gi...
Senator Luz Escamilla congratulated and introduced Sheila Hernandez Salazar with the 2020 Boys & Girls Club State Youth of the Year Award on Thursday morning. Sheila, a West High School senior, has impressed everyone with her dedication to service and her education. (Utah Senate Democrats)
(Utah Senate Democrats)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — The Boys and Girls Club of America named its choice for Utah Youth of the Year, a title that recognizes a teen who is on a path to a bright future and encourages other kids.

The club chose West High School senior Sheila Hernandez Salazar as Utah’s Youth of the Year. The title exemplifies someone who the organization believes is an exemplary young person in recognition of leadership, service, academic excellence and dedication to live a healthy lifestyle.

“We are incredibly proud of Sheila and all the Youth of the Year nominees,” said Jim Clark, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, in a statement.  “Being named Youth of the Year is a lifelong honor. As the Utah Youth of the Year, Sheila will serve as a spokesperson for Boys & Girls Club kids across the state who need more role models that they can admire and emulate.”

It is the 73rd year the club has awarded this honor, and gives Salazar the opportunity to serve as an ambassador to other teens in the state. Salazar will also receive a $2,500 college scholarship from the Boys and Girls Club of America and compete in the regional Youth of the Year. Beyond that, she could compete for the national title as well.

Salazar is deeply involved in school activities, taking classes in Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, Honors and concurrent enrollment. She has also played volleyball for her high school team for two years, while also being a part of the Environmental Club and a member of student government.

She joined the Boys and Girls Club six years ago. She said she wanted to build healthier social relationships.

“When I was in seventh grade, I felt like I did not belong. I felt as though I did not have a connection with any of my friends or any of my family,” Salazar said in a statement. “Going to the Club has allowed me to express myself in ways that I could not have done at home or at school. I could be crazy happy or incredibly sad but I always knew that there would be someone, staff or another member, who would be willing to help.”

At the club, Salazar joined as many programs as she could: homework help and tutoring, STEM activities, the annual Club Haunted House, hiking, river rafting, swimming etc.

Salazar also spent her time volunteering as a leader for the club’s “girl-specific” activities.

She also spent time mentoring the younger members of the club, which resulted her being offered a paid summer staff position when she was 17 years old.

Salazar will go on to compete against other state winners for the Pacific regional title, where she could be awarded an additional college scholarship if she wins. If successful, she will move on to Washington, D.C. in September to compete for the America’s National Youth of the Year award.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

Lehi City officials have closed a portion of westbound 1500 North to repair a large sinkhole. On it...
Simone Seikaly

Large sinkhole shuts down portion of westbound 1500 North in Lehi

Lehi City officials said the sinkhole formed on 1500 North due to a water leak.
16 hours ago
The Utah House has advanced the bill that bans transgender-related surgeries on minors and pauses t...
Lindsay Aerts

Utah House votes to pass transgender-related surgery ban

The Utah House has advanced the bill that bans transgender-related surgeries on minors and pauses the treatment of hormone blockers.
16 hours ago
Five former Memphis police officers who were fired for their actions during the arrest of Tyre Nich...
Eric Levenson, Melissa Alonso and Chris Boyette, CNN

Five former Memphis police officers indicted on charges of murder

The former officers were each charged with second-degree murder and aggravated assault among other charges.
16 hours ago
FILE: Taylorsville High School is pictured on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020....
Simone Seikaly

Lockdown lifted at Taylorsville High, no injuries after shots fired

Shots were reportedly fired in the parking lot of Taylorsville High School on Thursday afternoon, leading to lockdown and lockout procedures.
16 hours ago
UDOT traffic cam around 11:50 a.m.
(Utah Department of Traffic)...
Elizabeth Weiler

Elk stopping traffic on Foothill Drive near I-80

SALT LAKE CITY — Westbound Interstate 80 is experiencing delays of up to 18 minutes because a large herd of elk is attempting to cross into the foothills.  On Thursday afternoon, Salt Lake City Police tweeted that they, along with the Utah HighwayPatrol, were helping the Division of Wildlife Resources wrangle this elk herd. Our […]
16 hours ago
A new service called Cottonwood Connect could address parking problems at the ski resorts in Big an...
Kate Davis and Simone Seikaly

Cottonwood Connect offers a new way to get up Cottonwood Canyons

The goal is to fill gaps left when UTA limited ski bus service. The shuttle will run Thursday through Sunday through mid-April.
16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
Boys and Girls Club names Utah Youth of the Year