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Boys and Girls Clubs award student
Youth of the Year judged on speech and interview
Teryan Rucker is congratulated by his guardian Valerie Williams, left, and his aunt Gwenell Brown after Rucker was named the Youth of the Year by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Hall County Friday. - photo by Tom Reed

Hall County’s Boys and Girls Clubs announced their Youth of the Year winner Friday afternoon.

For the second year in a row, Gainesville High School student Teryan Rucker was selected from five contenders who each presented their stories of academic success through personal struggles to a panel of judges two weeks ago.

The 17-year-old, who also plays running back for Gainesville’s Red Elephants, has been a member of the club for 12 years. In his prepared speech, Rucker focused on his contributions to the club, participation in his church choir and how he has shouldered part of the bread-winning responsibility of his family. But much of his speech was inspired by his mother who passed away in January 2009.

The judges selected eight questions before privately interviewing each contestant.

When asked what he would change about his life, Rucker said “nothing.”
“(God) put me in the position that I am so I could use that as a motivation, and see that’s what my mom would want me to do,” he said.

Other finalists were Qymane Brawner, Manuel Alacron, Tyeisha Williams and Ebony Norman. The title is awarded to a local Boys and Girls Clubs member who not only contributes to his or her family and school but has overcome personal obstacles to rise to the top in the community.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Hall County offer support for hundreds of local children and teens. As Youth of the Year, Rucker will compete for the title at the state level for a $1,000 scholarship and the chance to advance to the regional and national competition.

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