Aspiring sports journalist is named Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year

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Jayla VanHorn, a 17-year-old Horizon Science Academy senior who is considering a career as a sports journalist, has been named Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland’s 2020 Youth of the Year.

She now moves on to regional Youth of the Year competition.

Jayla has been coming to the Broadway Club since the fifth grade, when a friend told her how much fun it was. She’s been a regular ever since. Jayla has also worked at the Club first as an employee of Club Crops, the BGCC farm program, and then in her current job as junior staff member.

In addition, Jayla is the editor of the Club newspaper and has had several media experiences, including a tour of the production studios at Rocket Mortgage Field House, a reporting program with cleveland.com and shadowing stints with Fox Sports Ohio and mlb.com’s Mandy Bell. At Horizon Science, she has played on the school’s basketball and volleyball teams.

“When I met Jayla five months ago, I could tell she was different,” Broadway Club Director Joseph Greathouse said. “Speaking with her for the very first time I could tell right away how special she was — and still very much so is. I am beyond proud of Jayla for everything she has battled through and accomplished thus far in her life.”

As the local Youth of the Year, Jayla will receive a $5,000 scholarship from Cleveland Indians Charities. Jayla has been taking a communications class at Cuyahoga Community College and has her eye on attending Ohio State University next year.

Second-place finisher Brandon Hill of the Saint Martin de Porres Club will receive a $3,000 scholarship from CIC, while third-place winner Nayeliz Nieves of the Lincoln-West Teen Center will receive $2,000.

BGCC is a branch of Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio, the organization created in 2019 by the merger of Clubs in Akron, Cleveland, Lorain County and Sandusky. The regional Youth of the Year competition will involve teens from those regions, with the winner announced March 25.

Local winners have the chance to advance to state, regional and national competitions.

BGCNEO serves more than 8,600 kids at 39 locations in the region. Boys & Girls Clubs provide safe, fun places for kids ages 6-18 after school, focusing on healthy lifestyles, academic success and character.

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