17-year-old Tatiana Cruz named Youth of the Year

Cruz, of Jersey City, was named the Boys & Girls Club New Jersey Youth of the Year on Friday. Cruz said it’s more than an award — now she feels she’s a role model for all youth, especially minorities.


  • Cruz first joined the Boys & Girls Club at 9 years old
  • “Youth of the Year” title was given to 15 members in New Jersey but only one is recognized.
  • Recipients are each awarded $2,500 in college scholarship. Cruz won an additional $10,000 in scholarship money from the state title.
  • Next for Cruz is the competition for the Northeast regional title for Youth of the Year in September. If she’s named the regional winner, she’ll be awarded an additional $20,000 in college scholarship money.
  • Six youth — including five regional winners and a military youth winner — will then advance to compete for the Boys & Girls Club of America’s National Youth of the Year, who will earn an extra $50,000 college scholarship.
  • Cruz attended Ronald E. McNair Academic High School where she finished with a 3.7 GPA.
  • Cruz serves as Hudson County’s Keystone Club president and secretary.
  • A couple of years ago she noticed how stressed students would be at the Jersey City school — so she helped start the Health and Wellness Club.

Image courtesy of The Jersey Journal.

“I always say busy hands are happy hands,”

Tatiana Cruz



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