Published on April 6, 2017 under Celebrate The Children

During National Boys & Girls Clubs Week here in Central Florida, blink and you’re sure to miss something!  It was a whirlwind week for our Youth of the Year (YoY) finalists, and each experience was unique and wonderful!

The finalists with Lisa Bell and Ginger Gadsden

We kicked off the week with a whistle-stop tour of local TV news stations, dropping off some Boys & Girls Clubs notebooks and a hefty helping of goodwill.  YoY finalists Rebecca from the Walt Disney World Clubhouse and Samantha from the Taft Branch were greeted warmly at every station.  They particularly enjoyed taking a full tour of the Channel 6/WKMG Studios, arranged by Club alumnus and former West Coast Youth of the Year Lisa Bell, a Channel 6 anchor. They even got to sit in on a live newscast with Lisa and co-anchor Ginger Gadsden–very exciting!

Three of our Club members were granted very unique, high-level job shadowing experiences during Boys & Girls Clubs Week.

Arianna and Elinor Steele

Tupperware Brands provided an amazing day for Kiwanis Club of Orlando Foundation Youth of the Year Arianna Montrose, a high school senior from our Poinciana Teen Center.  Arianna is a scholar-athlete who started her own business, Layers of Love, a cheesecake-in-a-jar company.  She founded the business with a friend, and ultimately raised over $3,000 to fund a trip to London with her school.  Arianna shadowed Elinor Steele, Tupperware Brands’ Vice President, Global Communications and Women’s Initiatives, during an activity-packed day!  By design, her visit coincided with the company’s hosting a delegation from India, students participating in the Global Links cross-cultural exchange program, a collaboration between Tupperware Brands and Rollins College. Arianna even enjoyed some one-on-one time with Tupperware CEO Rick Goings, who has been a tremendous advocate for Boys & Girls Clubs on an international level (see Goings: Why We Give).

Rebecca at Coalition Headquarters with Shelley Lauten and Edison Rosendo.

Finalist Rebecca from our Walt Disney World Clubhouse spent the day learning all about the homelessness issue in our region, a field she hopes to work in after college. She was fortunate to shadow Shelley Lauten, CEO of the Central Florida Coalition on Homelessness, and Edison Rosendo, the Coalition’s Marketing Coordinator.  Her day began at a Florida 2030 Town Meeting at Valencia’s Osceola Campus, an interactive session discussing the challenges and opportunities facing the state. Next, she spent time at two different service centers: Community Hope Center in Kissimmee and United Against Poverty in Orlando.  The day ended in a way Rebecca could have only dreamed:  with Shelley Lauten offering her a summer internship with the Coalition!

In the computer training lab

Walt Disney World Resort rolled out the magic carpet for Finalist Tylyiah from our Parramore Teen Extension, a high school junior who hopes to become a computer engineer.  Tylyiah shadowed engineer Sarah Gonzalez, who offered an informational tour of the Dinosaur attraction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, including a thrilling ride! Tylyiah also got to go “backstage” to the computer training lab, where engineer Charlie Orphan showed her how the robotic characters used in Disney attractions are created.  Her schedule also included a fabulous lunch at the Polynesian Village’s Kona Restaurant with three young women engineers, and a couple of media interviews–an all-around magical day, capping off an all-around magical Boys & Girls Clubs Week!

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