Moffat County High School student recognized as Boys and Girls Club youth of the year |

Moffat County High School student recognized as Boys and Girls Club youth of the year

Reina Steele’s world was turned upside down when COVID-19 hit and she began experiencing debilitating anxiety. After receiving an official diagnosis for her health condition, Steele found peace and calm inside the Craig branch of Boys and Girls Club of Northwest Colorado.

Steele’s face lit up Thursday night at the Boys and Girls Club Youth of the Year award, when she was announced the 2022 Youth of the Year in northwest Colorado. Steele received flowers, a gift certificate and a college scholarship to Blinn College, where she plans to study agricultural education.

A 17-year-old senior at Moffat County High School, Steele grew up in an agricultural community, as her family owned and operated a ranch in Maybell. There, she gained a passion for agriculture and teaching others.

“I want to be able to help people,” Steele said in an interview with Steamboat Pilot & Today Thursday after the ceremony. “I’m really passionate for helping the kids at our clubs and the people in our community, so I find it really important that I get to share my story with the rest of Colorado.”

Steele will next compete in a statewide Boys and Girls Club competition in Denver. If she wins there, she moves onto a regional competition.

Kelly Landers, development director for the Boys and Girls Club of Northwest Colorado, said Steele’s confidence and positive attitude radiates to those around her.

“What makes her special is she’s just always happy to be at the club when she’s there, she has so much confidence in herself and she exudes that,” Landers said. “She’s just a fantastic young person.”

Steele was one of six students from Routt and Moffat counties in the running for the Youth of the Year title. Each of the six receives a $3,000 scholarship, while Steele gets $7,500.

Winners are chosen by a panel of community judges, who use a scoring rubric to determine a candidate’s success based on the content of their speech given at the annual ceremony, their public speaking ability, confidence and professionalism. Speeches must include details about the student’s involvement at the club, obstacles they’ve overcome, the impact the club has had on them and their future goals and aspirations.

“To see the work they’re doing and the lessons they pass down to our younger members makes it all worth it,” said Dana Duran, Boys and Girls club executive director. “I know the world is still crazy, but I’m confident it’s going to be better with leaders like you leading the way.”

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