Red Lake 16-year-old Darion Cobenais was unanimously chosen as the Red Lake Nation Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year 2010 among 11 other local youth. In May, Darion will compete in St. Paul, Minnesota against other Boys & Girls Club members for the Minnesota State Youth of the Year title and a college scholarship worth $1,000 from Tupperware Brands Corporation.
“Being named Youth of the Year is the highest honor a Boys & Girls Club member can receive,” said Michelle Graves, Red Lake Nation Boys & Girls Club program director.
According to a press release, Darion is an extraordinary young man who was recognized for his “sound character, leadership skills and willingness to give back to the community.” He is a sophomore at Red Lake High School and has been a member of the Red Lake Nation Boys & Girls Club for three years. He has volunteered more than 50 hours at the club and worked as a junior program assistant the past two summers.
“Darion was so committed as junior staff, that he saved money to buy a bike so he wouldn’t be late for work each day,” Graves said.
She also said he has broken out of being shy, as he was when he first started with the club.
“He is a positive outgoing teen that younger club members look to emulate. He has made a strong imprint on the minds of club members,” Graves said. “Cobenais’ story is just at the beginning, and the club staff and community are excited to see what he will make of his future as he is a positive leader with great potential. We are proud to have him represent Red Lake Nation Boys & Girls Club.”
The winner of the state competition, which could be Darion, will compete for the title of Northwest Regional Youth of the Year and will get another scholarship—this one for $10,000. The five regional winners will head to Washington, D.C. in September to compete for the title of National Youth of the Year. The national winner receives a scholarship of up to $50,000 from the Rick and Susan Goings Foundation and will meet President Barack Obama at the White House.