Boys & Girls Clubs of Union County names Jesea Littlejohn 2019 Youth of the Year
Boys & Girls Clubs of Union County is pleased to announce Jesea Littlejohn as the 2019 Youth of the Year. Jesea, 17, is a senior at Union High School, where she participates in varsity cheerleading, serves as a Peer Ambassador, is a member of the Robotics Club, Women’s Empowerment and is the President of the Student Council, all while maintaining a 3.8 GPA. Upon graduation, Jesea plans to attend Winston-Salem State University to pursue a career in computer science.
Jesea has been a member of the Union Club for 8 years and is a member of Teen Leadership Camp, Stand & Deliver and Torch Club. She is currently the President of the Y.O.U. C.A.N. Keystone Club. Under her leadership, the Keystone Club has participated in numerous community service projects such as food drives, Breast Cancer Walk, fundraising for Children’s Specialized Hospital and making bag lunches for the homeless. In 2017, Jesea served as a volunteer counselor in the Summer Fun Club, where she worked with members ages 5-11.
In addition to attending the Club, Jesea is a member of the Delta Gems where she volunteers much of her time. She has visited many local churches to speak about Congenital Heart Defects and prepares goody bags for children undergoing heart surgery. Jesea has collected over 109 stuffed animals for the goody bags and has raised over $1,000 for the Congenital Heart Defect Coalition.
Jesea was chosen by a panel of judges: Head Judge Kelly Webber, SVP & Chief Human Resources Officer, Bausch Health; Eric Graziano, Marketing Manager/Community Engagement & Events, Whole Foods Market; and Chris Hillmann, President & CEO, Hillmann Consulting, LLC.
“Youth of the Year is the highest honor for Club members,” Russell Triolo, CEO, proudly stated. “Members are recognized for their contributions in promoting service to our clubs, community and family, academic success, strong moral character, life goals, and poise and public speaking ability. It is a joy to see these youth grow and develop as young adults.”
“Being selected as the 2019 Youth of the Year is a huge honor,” said Jesea. “It means I am able to impact people’s lives all around me. I want to start with my club, my Community, my county and grow it into something bigger. I love my Boys & Girls Club!”
Thank you to our partner, Bausch Health for their generous support of the Youth of the Year Program. Chris Hillmann, President & CEO of Hillmann Consulting, LLC has continued with his generous scholarship sponsorship of the Youth of the Year Program and will award each of the three finalists with a $3,000 scholarship; Jesea will receive a $6,000 scholarship.
The Youth of the Year Program is the premier recognition program for Club members, promoting service to Club, community and family; academic success; strong moral character; life goals and poise in public speaking. This year’s Youth of the Year finalists were: Sha’don Taylor, 18, (Elizabeth Club); Jalynn White, 17, (Union Club); and Sebastian Garcia, 14, (Plainfield Club).
Next, Jesea will compete for the Boys & Girls Clubs New Jersey State Youth of the Year title in June. We wish her the best of luck now and in her future.
Summer Program registration is now open at our Union and Plainfield Clubs. Boys & Girls Clubs of Union County offers youth programs in 4 communities during the school year in Union County: Plainfield, Elizabeth, Union and Roselle. Teen leadership programs for ages 14-18 are available in Union, Elizabeth and Plainfield. Members participate in character, leadership, career preparation and community service activities throughout the year. Aquatics is available at our Union Club. For information on our clubs and programs, please visit our website bgcuc.orgor contact us 908-687-2697.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Union County
Boys & Girls Clubs of Union County seek to inspire and enable young people, who need them most, to realize their full potential and have provided opportunity for youth since 1955. They are part of a national network of some 4,000 neighborhood-based facilities, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, which serves more than 4.6 million young people annually, in all 50 states and on U.S. military bases worldwide. Clubs provide guidance-oriented character development programs on a daily basis for children 6-18 years old, conducted by a full-time professional staff. Key Boys & Girls Club programs emphasize leadership development, education and career exploration, financial literacy, health and life skills, the arts, sports, fitness and recreation, and family outreach.
Submitted by Lisa Sepetjian