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The Red 'n' Green

The Student News Site of Berlin High School

The Red 'n' Green

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McCormick named Youth of the Year

Junior+Arianna+McCormick+won+Youth+of+the+Year+for+the+Boys+%26+Girls+Club+the+Tri-County+area+for+2024.+%E2%80%9CEveryone+has+a+story+but+not+everyone+can+share+it.+For+Youth+of+the+Year+you+have+to+be+able+to+do+both+and+she+can%2C%E2%80%9D+Director+of+Operations+Mindy+Collado+said.+
Boys and Girls Club Tri-County
Junior Arianna McCormick won Youth of the Year for the Boys & Girls Club the Tri-County area for 2024. “Everyone has a story but not everyone can share it. For Youth of the Year you have to be able to do both and she can,” Director of Operations Mindy Collado said.

Junior Arianna McCormick wins Youth of the Year for the Boys & Girls Club of the Tri-County area for 2024. She will be moving on to the state competition in March,  which is when McCormick will be giving her speech at the capitol.
“Arianna had to do essays, interviews, speeches, resumes, and applications. Then she competed against other students here at the club,” graduation specialist Eydie Reiser said. “Now we will take her and get her ready for the state level.”
This is a big responsibility for McCormick, since Youth of the Year is a program that aims to give a voice to the youth and put them into leadership positions.
“They had a panel of judges that come out and judge her three essays she had to write and they choose who will win the Tri-County area,” Reiser said.
McCormick’s application materials focused on how she has overcome a lot of obstacles growing up and ultimately turned to art to help her cope in different ways.
“I used to struggle a lot with mental health going into middle school. Middle school in general sucks for everyone, since everything’s changing, but my home life was going through a drastic shift as well,” McCormick said. “My father was very emotionally and verbally abusive to my siblings and me, and I actually memorized how his truck sounded so that I could hide my brother and myself in my room when I heard his truck coming down the street in fifth grade.”
McCormick’s goal with winning Youth of the Year will be to be able to reach out and be an inspiration to other kids that are going through some hard times either at school or at home.
“The whole purpose of this is to have one individual that everyone in the nation and every kid can look up to. Arianna epitomizes that, with all that she’s been through and with the voice she wants to give kids for their mental health needs,” Reiser said. “She also has a voice in art and how she overcomes things. It’s very inspiring and she’s doing a great job of articulating that.”
Math teacher Roberto Lara has taught McCormick both in middle and high school. “Arianna has been a model of growth in our district. As a middle schooler, Arianna was a quiet, nervous student who missed a lot of school. She most definitely has had a more difficult path than most students. As a high school student, she has developed a more confident, stable personality,” Lara said. “Her art work and ability in math have always stood out to me as her math teacher for multiple grades. Arianna’s ability to put sentiment into art work has impressed me since she was a seventh grader, so naturally, I have her artwork saved and put up in my classroom to this day, five years later. However, her most impressive attribute is her resilience,” Lara said.
Lara also said that because McCormick misses class often she can hold herself accountable very well for any missing work.
“She will outperform many, if not most, of her peers on assessments with less instructional time. Her attention to detail allows her to display her artwork in a unique way, as well as to solve math problems that require much focus. The juxtaposition of these two worlds (art and math) are both conquered by Arianna’s gift,” Lara said. “I believe that seeing Arianna overcome challenges provides a model example, for not just students here at BHS, but also students in her situation nationwide. The stories that she can tell about her journey can motivate and inspire young people that can relate. With a new, growing confidence, Arianna will continue to overcome obstacles that come her way and lead by example.”
McCormick’s next step is to give a speech at state. This is where she will either move on to be the state Youth of the Year or continue being the Boys & Girl’s club of the Tri-County area Youth of the Year.
“I definitely think my speech could be targeted towards everyone, but it’ll be mostly targeted towards younger kids, because that’s when I started developing a lot as a person,” McCormick said. “I believe kids are naturally creative, and they naturally want to create things, and I want them to continue to create things as they grow older because they lose that creative spark as they get older.”

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About the Contributor
Autumn Nikolai
Autumn Nikolai, Reporter
Autumn Nikolai is a Berlin High School Junior. She is excited to spend her last two years of high school on the Red'n'Green staff. Publications is her favorite class because she expresses her passion through her news stories.