WA State Youth of the Year, Justice Lively honored in Congressional Record

Ron McHenry, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County looks on as Rep. Susan Delbene presents the Congressional Record entry to Karen Gallardo (Anacortes Youth of the Year) on behalf of Justice Lively. Photo by Azota Photography.

Ron McHenry, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County looks on as Rep. Susan Delbene presents the Congressional Record entry to Karen Gallardo (Anacortes Youth of the Year) on behalf of Justice Lively. Photo by Azota Photography.

Justice Lively, Boys & Girls Clubs Washington State Youth of the Year, has another achievement to add to his list. At the recent “We are the Champions” Gala & Auction for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene took center stage to present the Congressional Record entered on April 29, 2015 honoring Justice Lively. Justice could not be present to accept the award, as he is currently working on his Certification in Nursing Assistance at a JobCorps program in Moses Lake. Anacortes Youth of the Year, Karen Gallardo was there to accept the honor on his behalf. 

Justice experienced many trials in his youth. An excerpt of the the Congressional Record by Rep. Delbene reads,  “Justice’s upbringing was filled with far greater challenges than any child should face. As a young boy, with his father deployed in the U.S. Army and his mother frequently absent, Justice was cared for by his oldest brother. When his father returned, Justice was brought into a new home with an abusive stepmother. Just as his mother began to get her life back together, she was killed in a car accident when Justice was only seven years old.”

Yet, Justice was able to rise above to become an outstanding citizen and member of the Boys & Girls Club. DelBene continued, “When he was 10, Justice’s life finally took a turn for the better. He was adopted by his aunt and uncle and was brought to Mount Vernon, where he later joined the local Boys & Girls Club. Today, Justice is a leader at the Club, focused on helping children. He frequently reads books to the Club’s younger children as part of a class on early childhood development.”

When Justice went on to the Regional Youth of the Year event in Los Angeles last summer, some members sent him some hand drawn postcards to wish him luck. The group raved about their respect for him. “We all think he’s amazing!” said Sedro-Woolley Club member Hallie Simpson. The Youth of the Year Award is the highest achievement given to Boys & Girls Club members. Youth who participate in the program gain experience in public speaking, interviewing skills, and essay preparation, learning skills that they carry with them into trade schools, college, and employment—skills that cultivate them into exemplary citizens that give back to their community. Their peers see the positive changes and are inspired. 

After completing the JobCorps program. Justice plans to continue his education at Western Washington University in pursuit of his goal of becoming a pediatric nurse at Seattle Children’s hospital.

This week and next week, the Youth of the Year process begins anew with Club level Youth of the Year awardees named at their respective Dinner with Friends events. The Skagit County Youth of the Year event will be held on January 27. 

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