Briana Gunn, a Goshen High School junior, was named the Boys & Girls Club of America's (BGCA) 2014 Indiana State Youth of the Year.
The award recognizes outstanding BGCA members who display academic success, moral character, goals, poise and public speaking abilities, BGCA's website said. The organization announced Gunn's award Tuesday, March 11, and she was given a $1,000 scholarship.
Gunn had to compete with 25 other candidates from around the state. She had to present a three-minute speech to judges as well as two essays about what the BGCA and a post-secondary education means to her. Gunn also had to provide reference letters from teachers, family members and friends.
Gunn has been an active member of Goshen's club for almost 10 years, according to a release written by the Boys & Girls Club of Goshen last year. The high school junior has lead a number of fundraisers, helps out with a Teen Ballroom Dance program and serves the Maple City Keystone Club. She also volunteers in numerous other capacities with the Boys & Girls Club in Goshen, the release said.
Adrianne Penner, the associate executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Goshen, said that Gunn overcame a number of obstacles that no child should have to face.
"She is a resilient young woman who's been asked to mature too quickly in many ways." Penner said.
Gunn was able to enter the state competition after being named Youth of the Year by her local club, BGCA's website said. She will now participate in the regional competition, which could earn her a $10,000 scholarship and the chance to compete on the national level.
If Gunn were to be named the National Youth of the Year, she would receive up to $50,000 in scholarships and be installed by Barack Obama.