Brother Rice student selected as 2023 Boys & Girls Club of Troy’s Youth of the Year

‘You have to put the kids first’

By: Brendan Losinski | Troy Times | Published April 28, 2023

 Brother Rice High School senior Owen Obasuyi was recently selected as the 2023 Boys & Girls Club of Troy’s Youth of the Year.

Brother Rice High School senior Owen Obasuyi was recently selected as the 2023 Boys & Girls Club of Troy’s Youth of the Year.

Photo provided by the Boys & Girls Club of Troy


TROY — The Boys & Girls Club of Troy announced April 13 that Brother Rice High School senior Owen Obasuyi was selected as its 2023 Youth of the Year.

Obasuyi is among hundreds of teens across the country being recognized by local Boys & Girls Clubs of America chapters as the chapters’ respective Youths of the Year after being singled out for their sound character, leadership skills and willingness to give back to the community.

“It is an honor to represent the Boys & Girls Club of Troy as the 2023 Youth of the Year,” said Obasuyi. “I thank the Boys & Girls Club of Troy for helping to grow me into the person that I am today. Thank you for providing me with a platform to share my story, to grow my voice, and to show pride and respect for my club. I will also make sure that everyone knows how amazing it is to be a part of a great environment, the Boys & Girls Club of Troy.”

Obasuyi has been a member of the Boys & Girls Club for nine years. He has volunteered in a number of roles throughout the club, most notably in leadership roles through the Leaders In Training and Junior Staff programs. He is also the founder of the Black Student Union at his school.

Obasuyi is a student-athlete at Brother Rice High School, playing three years of football for the Warriors program. He said that his favorite memory at the club was getting to play football on the field with his friends and favorite staff members. He plans to follow his interests in construction management at Eastern Michigan University.

“Over Owen’s time at the Boys & Girls Club of Troy he has been a shining example of hard work, discipline and dedication to our organization for all of our members. From being a leader among our Leaders In Training and as a Junior Staff member, Owen has become an outstanding young leader. We have witnessed him grow over his nine years at the club and has become a positive role model for all of our youth here. I’m amazed by not only by how far Owen has come both academically and personally, but that he continues to give back to the club that has given him so much,” said Boys & Girls Club of Troy CEO Jeff Evans. “His talent, personality and work ethic make him a well-deserved representative of the Boys & Girls Club of Troy and the local community.”

Obasuyi said he wants others to know what a difference the Boys & Girls Club has made in his life, first as a participant and then as a staff member.

“I appreciate the Boys & Girls Club for the environment and the memories. When I was a kid, I enjoyed going so much. Now as a staff member, I am, hopefully, giving kids an experience where they are excited to keep coming back and spending time with their friends,” he remarked. “I think the most important part is caring about the kids and caring that you are providing a fun and safe environment. You have to put the kids first.”

Youth of the Year participants go on to compete for each state’s title of Youth of the Year, who each win a $5,000 college scholarship. The winners then move onto a regional competition. The five regional winners and a national military youth winner will then advance to Washington, D.C., for the National Youth of the Year Gala and Celebration Dinner, where one outstanding young person is named Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s national teen spokesperson to serve as a role model, leader and advocate for the nearly 4 million youth served by Boys & Girls Clubs each year.

“Kids can apply for Youth of the Year, then the staff makes a selection from the applications,” said Evans. “He will now go to a youth competition of Youths of the Year from different branches where they are interviewed in Lansing and they are entered into the competition for Michigan Youth of the Year and from there go onto a regional and then a nationwide competition.”

Evans said that he has rarely seen a better example of the kind of role model the Boys & Girls Club tries to produce than Obasuyi.

“He was chosen for his leadership within the club. He is very good with mentoring some of our younger club members. He also has a great work ethic and attitude,” said Evans. “Owen is a longtime member here at the club. We’ve just seen throughout the years his level of maturity and leadership grow to the point where he has started working for the club.”

Obasuyi believes organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club are crucial components for the youth of a community to grow up healthy and be prepared for a successful life.

“It provides a safe place for kids and lets them be themselves and have a fun time and grow while meeting new friends,” he said. “I’m happy I have been able to give back to a community that has given me so many good experiences and helped me form lifeline connections.”