Courtne Dotson, a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica since the age of five, has been named the club’s Youth of the Year.

Dotson was recognized for her extraordinary contributions to her family, school, community and the Boys & Girls Club, as well as her academic excellence and perseverance through personal challenges and obstacles, club officials said.

As the new Youth of the Year, Dotson says she is “addicted” to the club. During her years as a member, Dotson has welcomed each opportunity presented to her, becoming an essential club leader, volunteer and role model, club officials said.

Last year, she coordinated countless events, participated in the Leaders in Training program and was elected president of the Keystone Club, a group leadership club for teens ages 14 to 18.

“Courtne Dotson is an outstanding role model and asset to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica and we are honored to name her as our Youth of the Year,” said Allan Young, president and chief executive officer of Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica. “She has overcome great personal obstacles to become the driven young woman she is today ñ proving to all around her that great things can be achieved with a little hard work and dedication.”

Whether coordinating fundraising events, attending tutoring sessions to prepare for post high school studies or helping her single mother to keep the household running, Dotson is an inspiration to everyone she comes into contact with, Young said. She will be the first in her family to go to college and has aspirations of attending the University of California, Berkeley. As the Youth of the Year recipient, Dotson receives a scholarship award and will be considered for the title at the state level.

“The Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica is a place of opportunity,” said Dotson. “It is the most wonderful, inspirational and fun place that I’ve ever been to in my life. Without it, I don’t think I would be the person I am today.”