South Dakota’s 2015 Youth of the Year

Kaleb Hartley, representing the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Missouri River Area in Wagner, SD, was named South Dakota’s 2015 Youth of the Year. Kaleb was one of seven finalists who were selected based on their academic record, community involvement, and involvement in their Club.

Along with his parents and other finalists from Clubs in South Dakota, Kaleb spent two days in Pierre, SD being interviewed by judges and meeting dignitaries. He received a $5,000 scholarship, and will now go on to compete in the Midwest Regional competition this July in Chicago, IL. The Regional Youth of the Year selected this summer in Chicago will then compete in Washington D.C. this fall to be named the National Youth of the Year, which is the highest honor presented by Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA).

Kaleb, who has been a member at Missouri River Area since 2003, attends and volunteers at the Club every day. He has a 4.0 grade point average and is the only senior Native member on the National Honor Society at his school. He attributes much of his academic success to Power Hour, which he has participated in since he first became a Club member at six years old. Involvement in the Youth of the Year contest has made Kaleb even more passionate about volunteering at his Club, so that more youth can enjoy a positive experience like he’s had over the years. After high school he plans to attend Creighton University in Omaha, NE to pursue a major in Nursing and a minor in Native American studies.

Every year one teen is named BGCA’s National Youth of the Year, awarded a $50,000 scholarship, a brand new car, and serves as BGCA’s official teen spokesperson.

Photo: Kaleb Hartley and Linda Daugaard, First Lady of South Dakota
Photo Credit: Boys & Girls Club of the Missouri River Area