Arizona Youth of the Year Named

Friday, April 20, 2012

Phoenix, Ariz.Anthony Wimberly, an 18-year-old from Tucson, was named Boys & Girls Club State Youth of the Year this week at the 12th Annual Arizona Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs Legislative Breakfast, presented by the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. The national “Youth of the Year” recognition program is the cornerstone of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Character and Leadership Development core program area. “Youth of the Year” promotes and celebrates service to the Club, community and family values, academic performance, moral character, life goals, poise and public speaking ability.

Wimberly, a five-year member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson’s Frank & Edith Morton Clubhouse, was chosen over seven other candidates representing Clubs across the state. After being named the winner at the breakfast at the US Airways Center in Phoenix, Wimberly will take home scholarships of $3,000 from Fiesta Bowl Charities and $1,000 from Tupperware Brands.  He plans to attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to pursue a career in aerospace engineering.

Anthony is a senior at Southern Arizona Community Academy, where he is a member of the Wellness

Committee and Sanctuary Project. At the Frank & Edith Morton Clubhouse, he is a participant in the Panther Keystone Club and enjoys playing basketball and foosball; he is the current undefeated Club champion. He carries a 3.0 GPA.

“When I first walked through the doors at the Frank & Edith Morton Clubhouse I had no idea how it would affect my life,” Anthony said. “My experiences there have impacted my life in more ways than I could have imagined.  I didn’t realize how it would place me on the right path until I faced a fork later in my journey.  My experiences there and the Club staff have helped shape me into the young man I am today.”

The event's other three finalists were Alyssa Coughenour, 18, of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale, Adrianna Henderson,18, of Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley; and Chloe Johnson, 17, of Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix. The remaining four candidates were Maeghan Gabriel, 16, of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Casa Grande Valley, Angelica Heras, 17, of The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs of Yuma,  Jonathan Moss, 17, of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Colorado River; and Amber Snyder, 17, of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base Youth Center.

Luis Gonzalez, MLB All-Star and World Series Champion from the Arizona Diamondbacks, gave the event's keynote address.  Olga Fernandez, the 2011 Arizona Youth of the Year, served as the mistress of ceremonies.

Participating judges were Nikki Balich, Fiesta Bowl Board Member and President of PCN Janitorial; Lieutenant General Robert B. Johnston, USMC (Ret); Marc Martinez, Fox 10 News Weekend Anchor; Mary Murphy, Senior Program Specialist of the Governor's Office for Children, Youth & Families; and Michael Ryan, Vice President/GM, Community Newspapers, “The Arizona Republic.” 

Before the breakfast, candidates were treated to a weekend of fun team-building activities that included a baseball game at Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Sponsored by Tupperware Brands, the National Youth of the Year program is designed to promote and recognize service to the community and Club, academic performance and contributions to family and spiritual life. The five regional winners and one national winner each will receive educational scholarships from Tupperware Brands.

About the Arizona Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs

The Alliance ( is made up of 21 organizations comprising 71 Clubs across the state. Clubs offer programs and services that promote and enhance the development of youth by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging and influence. Boys & Girls Clubs in Arizona serve more than 129,000 kids and teens each year, with that number continuing to grow. Boys & Girls Clubs are synonymous with being safe places to learn and grow, where “Great Futures Start Here.”