The Boys & Girls Clubs of West Central Missouri named three Youth of the Year winners during a special ceremony held January 22.

Nine-year-old Matti Mergen, 12-year-old Ada Tucker and 17-year-old Morgan Hetrick were named the elementary, intermediate and teen winners, respectively. All three are from the Club’s Green Ridge Site.  The National Youth of the Year Program is designed to promote and recognize service to the Club and community, academic performance, and contributions to family and spiritual life. While elementary and intermediate YOYs are honored, only teen winner Hetrick will go on to compete at the state level. National YOY winners have a chance to meet the president and receive thousands in scholarship dollars.

Youth of the Year Elementary nominees Isaiah Ewert, Alyssa Wombles, Laci Thompson, Saraih Navarro, Jesesis Stinnep, Abigail Dake, and Matti Mergen stand with the YOY judges. Not pictured are Wyatt Derendiner and Chris Boehm.

The ceremony was held at the Fox Theater, thanks to a generous contribution from Furnell Companies, and included an audience of YOY family members and friends and Club board members and donors. The speeches were judged by Economic Development of Sedalia Pettis County Executive Director Linda Christle, Sedalia Mayor Steve Galliher, Sedalia School District 200 Special Education Paraprofessional Melany Satnan, Pettis County Prosecuting Attorney Phillip Sawyer and Owner of Paul Kelly Insurance Agency, Sandy Schlesselman.

Youth of the Year Intermediate nominees Jakob Brown, Ethan Driskill, Kaitlin Garrison, Ada Tucker and Sarah Weber stand with the YOY judges.

This year’s elementary Youth of the Year nominees included Chris Boehm, Abigail Dake, Wyatt Derendinger, Isiah Ewert, Saraih Navarro, Matti Mergen, Jenesis Stinney, Laci Thompson and Alyssa Wombles. Intermediate nominees were Jakob Brown, Ethan Driskell, Kaitlin Garrison, Ada Tucker and Sarah Weber. Teen nominees were Joseph Daves, Taylor Driskell, Dharma Goodwin and Morgan Hetrick.

Youth of the Year Teen nominees Joseph Daves, Morgan Hetrick, Dharma Godwin and Taylor Driskill stand with YOY judges.

Celebrating its 55th anniversary in the Boys & Girls Clubs of West Central Missouri serves more than 500 children daily at 11 sites in Sedalia, Cole Camp, Green Ridge, La Monte, Leeton and Smithton. For more information about the Club, including how to donate or volunteer your time, go to or call 660-826-8331. You can also stay in contact with the Club by liking them on Facebook or following them on Twitter @bgckids.

Youthfully yours,