Student from Education One school in running for Youth of the Year

July 01, 2024

Rima BellFor more than 75 years, the Youth of the Year program has recognized young people for their outstanding leadership, service, academic excellence, and dedication to health and wellbeing. Rima Bell was named the 2024 Midwest Youth of the Year by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

This prestigious honor was awarded during the Youth of the Year celebration dinner in Chicago on June 27, highlighting Rima’s success in a competitive field of peers from 12 Midwestern states. Rima will next head to Atlanta to compete in the National Youth of the Year competition on Sept. 18. 

Youth of the Year is the highest honor a Boys & Girls Club kid can receive. The teen selected to be the National Youth of the Year represents Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the voices of millions of Club youth. The Club supports more than 5,000 Boys & Girls Clubs in providing opportunities and experiences for America’s teens to thrive, understanding that having a place to belong and someone who believes in you can have a powerful impact. The Youth of the Year is a shining example of this and exemplifies what it means to be a part of the Club.  

As detailed in their program, becoming National Youth of the Year is an exciting and inspiring journey. Each year, thousands of Club teens participate in local, state and regional Youth of the Year events. Six teens, including five regional winners and a national military youth winner, advance to the National Youth of the Year Celebration, where one outstanding young person is named Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s national teen spokesperson. The National Youth of the Year is a role model, leader, and advocate for the millions of youth served by Boys & Girls Clubs each year, and all of America’s young people.

A rising junior at Career Academy South Bend, an Education One at Trine University public charter school, Rima started her journey with Club as a Kindergartener at the Harrison Club site. The club emphasized how she has shown remarkable resilience through personal tragedy, emerging as a leader and role model for her peers. Her story is a testament to the transformative power of the Boys & Girls Club.

“Without Boys & Girls Clubs' presence in my life, I would have missed out on crucial experiences that have not only expanded my perspective but have also empowered me to strive for my goals,” Rima expressed.

The Boys & Girls Club of St. Joseph County was elated to celebrate one of their very own during the dinner celebration. Rima credits the supportive atmosphere and staff at the Club for guiding her through challenging times and giving her the inspiration to become the leader she is today.

Rima concluded her speech in Chicago with: “As I stand here today, I'm deeply honored to be considered for the Boys & Girls Club Midwest Youth of the Year. This recognition isn't just about me; it's a celebration of the Club's commitment to nurturing resilient, caring, and responsible young leaders who will shape our future. I can give people like me opportunities. I can be the difference. And I can create an environment for others to succeed."

To learn more about Education One and Career Academy Network of Public Schools, visit: https://www.trine.edu/education-one/

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