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Senator Escamilla Congratulates State Youth of the Year Winner

For Immediate Release

February 6, 2020

SALT LAKE CITY – Senator Luz Escamilla congratulated and introduced Sheila Hernandez Salazar with the 2020 Boys & Girls Club State Youth of the Year Award on Thursday morning. Sheila, a West High School senior, has impressed everyone with her dedication to service and her education. At school, she serves on Student Government in addition to being a member of the Environmental Club, being Assembly Coordinator and taking honors, AP, IB, and concurrent enrollment classes. Outside of school, she frequently mentors younger members at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Salt Lake, where she has been a member for six years. At just 17 years old, she earned a paid summer staff position at her Club thanks to her dedicated service.

Like her, her speech was captivating and impactful, drawing tears from everyone in the audience. She spoke of her struggles and fears about family separation, obstacles which have motivated her to make sure her family and others like them feel a sense of belonging in their community. She works hard to be a good example and be supportive of her younger brother by helping him with his homework, taking him to the library, and attending his school events when their parents aren’t able to. Aside from being an incredible sister, daughter, student, and member of her community, she has made sure to use her voice to address important issues facing her community. On election day, she turned 18 and made sure she was registered to cast her first vote. All of her hard work has earned her an acceptance from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, where she intends on studying forensics, psychology, and/or political science.

Sheila was one among 5 impressive young finalists. They included Ana Salazar, a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Weber-Davis and a student at Northern Utah Academy for Math; Charles Edward Patten III, a member of the Hill Air Force Base Keystone Club and an advocate for unseen disabilities; Isabella Marquez, a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Utah County and a sophomore at Walden School of Liberal Arts aspiring to study Criminal Law; and Milla Peterson, a member of the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Utah and a sophomore at Box Elder High School who hopes to attend Utah State University and earn a degree in business with a minor in music. We know that all five of these young students will continue to do amazing work and positively impact those around them.



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