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Posted: 01/30/13

YOUTH OF THE YEAR. Above, Eva Petkov of Washington Township was named the first-ever Youth of the Year for the Boys and Girls Club's Stanley Ian Babinski Unit in Washington Township. She was honored, along with other regional members, at the club's "Celebrating the Future" dinner in Royal Oak on Jan. 26.

(Observer photo by Chris Gray)

Wash. Twp. girl named
Youth of the Year

Observer Staff Writer
      A local Powell Middle School student has been awarded the highest honor her club can offer.
       Eva Petkov, 12, of Washington Township, was chosen as the Member of the Year for her participation in the local Boys and Girls Club.
       She was recognized along with other regional members during the club's Celebrating the Future dinner event on Jan. 26 in Royal Oak.
       "It was really surprising," Petkov said. "I was really thankful that I was chosen out of all the kids that come here to be Member of the Year."
       Petkov has been a member of the Stanley Ian Babinski Boys and Girls Club of Washington Township since its inception.
       The Youth of the Year program starts with the Member of the Month, where local clubs recognize outstanding members. Among those selected, one is chosen to be the Youth of the Year.
       Jason Crute, unit director for the Stanley Ian Babinski Boys and Girls Club of Washington Township, said Petkov is not only the club's first Youth of the Year, but she was also the first Member of the Month.
       A Member of the Month is chosen for how active they are in the club, excelling in the programs and displaying exemplary behavior such as good citizenship and sportsmanship.
       Crute said Petkov was always in the club's learning center and consistently earned the most points through the club's homework program.
       "The longer she has been here the more vocal of a leader she has been," he said. "She is able to speak up and speak her mind."
       Petkov takes part in the club's Torch Club, which organizes and carries out community-minded activities like food drives, and is also a part of Smart Girls, a group that aims to teach students on making good decisions in life.
       "She's really one of the sweetest people I've ever met, she's always smiling, always friendly and happy," Crute said. "We have some great kids here."
       In addition, she said she likes hanging out with her friends at the club and is able to finish her schoolwork. She said once she found out about the club she asked her parents about joining.
       "I've made new friends, it has helped me get my homework done and it's a good place to hang out," Petkov said.
       Petkov performed a dance routine at the dinner with friends she made through the club.
       According to the Boys and Girls Club website, those who compete and win in the Youth of the Year state competitions receive a $1,000 scholarship, then compete in regional competitions. Those winners win $10,000 and move onto national competitions. The national winner receives up to $50,000 and is installed by the President of the United States.

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