ST. LOUIS – The Boys and Girls Club of Greater St. Louis announced the nonprofit’s Youth of the Year. Three judges narrowed the candidates down to four finalists before picking Ismail Botchway as the winner of the 2024 Youth of the Year.

Botchway said the Boys and Girls Club changed his life.

“To me, it means that I’ll be able to advocate for other youth in my community and be able to compete at a higher level,” he said. “To just be able to share my story and make a broader impact on my community.”

The young man has big plans for his future and hopes to be a role model for the next generation in the Boys and Girls Club.

“I just hope to inspire youth; that they can do what I did. They can advocate for others. They can make a difference in their community,” Botchway said.

“If there is someone who is close to their age and who has achieved wonderful things and speak their language, I think that goes a long way to help us achieve our overall mission to help prepare youth for productive lives after high school,” Flint Fowler, president of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater St. Louis, said.