CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Virginia finds it important to promote leadership in the youth.

One way of accomplishing this is through the Youth of the Year Award.

There is a junior and senior level to the Youth of the Year competition. The club wants to recognize the kids’ accomplishments in the classroom, in the community, and in the club.

There is an application process to be considered for the award. Kate Lambert, the CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Virginia, says there’s a lot of self-discovery in this application process because, for the first time, these kids are given an opportunity to brag about themselves for a moment. 

“This is all a part of our mission to help our kids become productive citizens of the community,” she said.

Ten kids participated in the competition and the panel of judges chose sophomore Jolanta Mejia David from the Southwood Boys and Girls Club to be the Youth of the Year. 

“She joined the Boys and Girls Club when she was six years old. And she became passionate about dancing. That taught her teamwork and freedom of self-expression and she talks about how grateful she is for the safe and supportive environment that the club provided her,” said Lambert.

David will work toward the same sense of inclusivity for other young people that she’s experienced at the Boys and Girls Club. 

The Boys and Girls Club hopes this inspires other kids to work hard and become young leaders in their community.