Cleveland senior honored as Boys and Girls Clubs Youth of the Year

Dozens of people honored on Friday for their work with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland, including 19 Action News.

But it was Stephanie Simon, named the Youth of the Year, who stole the show.

"There are tears, heartache and there is pain, but there is always opportunity," Stephanie said. "No matter what background you come from, you can be anything you want."

Stephanie said she grew up in a Cleveland neighborhood constantly worried about her safety. Her childhood best friend died, she did not meet her dad until she was 12 and then her dad and beloved grandma both died in the last year.

But she has thrived. A 3.7GPA at Cleveland Central Catholic, she wants to be a neo-natal nurse.

Stephanie credits the camaraderie, friendship and experiences at the Boys and Girls Clubs that helped pull her through a tough childhood.

Now, she'll head to Tennessee State or Fisk University with a Boys and Girls scholarship she won Friday morning.

"The world is not interested in what we do for a living, they are interested in what we have to offer freely. Love, peace and hope and the power to make a difference."

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