YOY Announced

Glen Burnie High student named Youth of the Year for second time
Wendi Winters, wwinters@capgaznews.com
Saturday, April 25, 2015
 
For the first time in 26 years, there's a repeat winner of the Ed Casey Youth of the Year Award. Desmond Beggarly won the award Thursday night at a dinner for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Annapolis & Anne Arundel County. The 18-year-old also won the honor in 2013 and went on to capture the 2013 Maryland Youth of the Year prize.

 "I hope to keep inspiring other youth," Beggarly said while being swarmed by well-wishers at the conclusion of the dinner. He certainly inspired judges. Steven Cornette, CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs, who served as one of seven judges, said he was impressed with how Beggarly overcame obstacles, including homelessness, to achieve success. 

At age 7, Beggarly became a member of the Freetown Village club. And, it was there, through the after-school robotics programs, he discovered his fascination with — and facility at — science, technology and engineering. 

The salutatorian of his class, he plans to major in nuclear engineering at University of Maryland-College Park. He was also accepted at Princeton and several other universities. 

"He's an extraordinary young man," Cornette said. "He just continues to impress." 

Beggarly was one of six finalists for the 2105 award. The others were: Kevin Allen Jr., 18; Ra'Kwon Coates, 18, Brionna Dove, 17; Kyra Saunders, 17; and Art Slade III, 16. They said their experiences as members, and later as junior staff members at the Boys & Girls Clubs, turned their lives around and inspired them to pursue college degrees and future careers. 

Beggarly won a $1,000 scholarship. All the finalists will receive a laptop computer. The Youth of the Year competition culminates with the national contest in September, where the winner gets a $50,000 scholarship. 

The six local finalists each addressed the crowd, which nearly filled the ballroom at the Sheraton Annapolis hotel, during the dinner. The award is named after a former editor of The Capital. "I get a chance to speak in front of all these people and make my family proud," said Dove, who will be attending West Virginia University. Allen said the size of the crowd "was a little overwhelming" but told the audience that mentoring others at the clubs was "always a dream.'

"Our mission is to inspire and enable others to recognize their own potential." 

PHOTOS BY MATTHEW COLE, THE CAPITAL 
Boys and Girls Clubs president and CEO, Jim Clark talks about the mission of the Boys and Girls Club at the Sheraton Hotel in Annapolis during the annual Boys and Girls Club Youth of the Year Awards dinner.
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