Sixteen-year-old Brittany Quach, a Santa Monica High School junior and six-year member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica, has been selected as the club’s 2010 Youth of the Year.

Quach was recognized with the highest honor that a Boys & Girls Club member can achieve during the 43rd Annual Awards Banquet at the Olympic Collection Feb. 5.

The Youth of the Year program honors club members who have demonstrated leadership, achieved academic and/or personal success, and have lent a helping hand to club staff, as well as their families, school, and community. As the Santa Monica club’s Youth of the Year, Quach will be considered to proceed to the state and national Youth of the Year competitions, and she is also eligible to receive a number of scholarships along the way.

“The Annual Youth of the Year banquet is truly one of the most memorable times of the year for us at the Boys & Girls Clubs because it highlights the impact we have on the young people we serve,” said Aaron Young, president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica.

“Brittany is a great example of a young person who, through hard work and determination, has overcome obstacles in her quest to ‘Be Great.’ We congratulate her – and her fellow nominees – on their accomplishments.”

The club nominated five young people to be the 2010 Youth of the Year. The runners-up included: Kaitlyn Nickel, a senior at Santa Monica High School; Zuri Smith, a senior at City Honors High School; Micah Williams, a senior at Venice High School; and Nicole Tehrani, a senior at University High School.

The president of Keystone Club and a junior staff member at the club, Quach was chosen for the award for her outstanding scholastic achievement, dedication to higher education, service to the community, contributions to her family and overcoming challenging obstacles, club officials said.

“Because of the club I have the ability to create a path toward reaching my dreams, instead of chasing them,” said Quach. “The club has shaped me to be who I am today – an optimistic person who is determined to be ‘great.’”

During the awards ceremony, Youths of the Year were named for each of the club’s departments, club branches and age groups. The banquet featured Olympic figure skating gold medallist Tara Lipinski, and Santa Monica club alumnus and U.S. Foreign Service Officer Syga Thomas as guest speakers Deb Carson, Fox Sports Radio host, served as emcee for the event.