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The 2018 Outstanding Youth Awards empowers youth in its fourth year

#iCan was this year's theme at the 4th Annual Outstanding Youth Awards sponsored by b dynamic! Productions at the The Fine Arts Center in Greenville.

Sponsors for 2018’s event included Local Cue, Greenville Technical College, Long Branch Baptist Church, Community Works, and Quiktrip, which celebrated these ambitious, community-driven students for their achievements to evolve and shape our community. As a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit, The Outstanding Youth Awards empowers youth for greatness promoting volunteerism, mentorship opportunities, and empowerment workshops to motivate kids to stay focused in their respective fields of interest.

Since 2015, The Outstanding Youth Awards has rewarded youth making a difference in seven categories: Innovator, Athlete, Scholar, Entrepreneur, Entertainer, Volunteer and Overall Outstanding Youth of the Year, with the Overall winner receiving a $500 scholarship annually. All seven winners were honored Saturday, Nov. 10 by industry leaders, including Freedom Fighters Founder Traci Fant, Founder of Generation KidStrong Lisa Booze, Chairman Pro Tem District 23 Xanthene Norris, Hillcrest Middle Basketball Coach Wandra McGowan, and many others.

2018 Winners included:

Overall Outstanding Youth of the Year $500 scholarship winner —Soheila Grace Feliciano: Soheila serves as a class representative for the student council, FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America), LIT (Leaders in Training), the BETA club, and as a board member on both Butterfly and Dragonfly Outreach nonprofits.

Volunteer of the Year —Naomi Bruce: Her volunteer efforts include collecting blankets for the homeless, hygiene bags for veterans, serving as hostess at the Diocese of Charleston Black Catholic Congress held at Furman University in 2017. Her anti bullying campaign consisted of spreading the word about World Day of Bullying Month, October 2018.

Entertainer of the Year — Christina Brown: She was recently accepted into the Governor's School of the Arts to rigorously study violin performance. She is a recent participant in the National NAACP ACT-SO competition in San Antonio, Texas where she won the bronze medal in the classical music category.

Innovator of the Year —Trinity James: Trinity loves to rearrange and compose her own songs. At our recent spring concert this year, Trinity performed a piece she rearranged.

Entrepreneur of the Year — Jayden Williams: Author of two books called “Slaying the Spirit of Fear” and “Justwrite: A Quick Guide to Writing and Publishing Your Book Independently,” Jayden uses his creativity to reach others with powerful messages about confidence and business.

Athlete of the Year — Lauren Wearbon: Lauren exhibits leadership on and off the basketball court. Her outstanding skills positioned her to be named the Greenville County Athlete of the year for the middle school division.

Scholar of the Year — Matthew Ryan Parker Warren: Academically, he recently earned a 100 percent grade average in physics and nearly all As for other course work. Matthew has a great interest in the sciences and engineering, and he's enrolled in the International Baccalaureate Program and has been invited to join the Beta Club.