Gainesville High School student Teryan Rucker has been named State Youth of the Year by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Rucker, a 12-year member of the club, will receive a $1,000 scholarship from the Reader's Digest Foundation and will go on to compete at the regional level, according to officials with the club.
The Youth of the Year title recognizes club members who demonstrate character, leadership skills and willingness to give back to the community.
Rucker, 17, competed for the local Youth of the Year title in February. In his prepared speech for the competition, 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.
Rucker is captain of the football team at Gainesville High and plans to attend North Greenville University in Tigerville, S.C., in the fall, according to a news release.
Rucker will compete this summer for the Southeast Region Youth of the Year title. The regional winner is awarded a $10,000 college scholarship and advances to the national competition in Washington.