Glen Cove’s Board of Education honored Glen Cove High School senior Makaela Vaughan at its meeting on April 11.
Vaughan was recently named the Glen Cove Boys & Girls Club’s 2016 Youth of the Year, with the organization describing her as an excellent student, a star athlete and a positive and outstanding role model for her siblings and its younger members.
Glen Cove High School Principal Antonio Santana and Superintendent of Schools Maria Rianna commended Vaughan at the meeting, where she was given a certificate to honor her achievement.
“You’re an outstanding individual, a wonderful young lady and student, for all that you do not just here, but for all of the children in the community, I thank you,” Rianna said. “It’s my honor to be your superintendent.”
Vaughan credits her family and sports for giving her the self-confidence and motivation needed to succeed. Through sports, she learned that she will always be able to achieve positive results if she works hard, remains focused and practices discipline. It is with these same values that Vaughan tackles school and school work. She, is on the Honor Roll and Principal’s list and is the recipient of an Achievement in Mathematics Award. Vaughan has a passion for forensics and hopes to pursue a career in criminal justice.
Vaughan joined the Boys & Girls Club when she was a young child and returned to the club as a teenager. She participated in the club’s Summer Youth Employment Program last spring, which led to a counselor position in the club’s six-week summer program. She proved to be such an outstanding role model for young members that she was offered a group leader position for the school year.
“I love working with the kids and it is really important for me to be a good mentor to them. I want them to know that they matter to me and I really want to help change their lives for the better,” said Vaughan.
“We are lucky to have Makaela here working with our kids. She is very grateful for every opportunity she’s had through the club and she is very grateful to the staff,” said Breanna Townsell, GCBGC teen program director.
Being a group leader is one of two part-time jobs Vaughan juggles with school and volunteering in community service-based activities, including coaching basketball for the City of Glen Cove for girls ages 10-13.
“We are very proud of Makaela and all she has accomplished. She worked very hard to get where she is and her optimistic attitude towards everything she undertakes is incredibly compelling to our younger members. She truly deserves the 2016 Youth of the Year title,” said GCBGC executive director Franca Trunzo.
Vaughan was one of six teens considered for the Youth of the Year title. She will soon be heading to Albany to compete for the Boys & Girls Club of America New York State Youth of the Year Title.
State winners each receive a $5,000 scholarship and advance to regional competitions. Regional winners receive an additional $10,000 college scholarship, renewable for four years up to $40,000. Six youth, including five regional winners and a military winner, advance to the National Youth of the Year competition for a chance at an additional scholarship of $25,000, renewable up to $100,000 for four years. The National Youth of the Year represents all Boys & Girls Club youth.