One of the most popular Exchange youth projects, the Youth of the Year Award recognizes hard-working high school students who attain high levels of scholastic achievement, community involvement and leadership. This proven program not only rewards outstanding young people, but also provides an incentive for other youngsters to strive for equally high levels of achievement.
Each April, the Exchange Club of Joliet honors deserving students from Joliet Central, Joliet West, Joliet Catholic and Providence high schools who have exhibited excellence in academics and leadership. Finalists are recommended by academic advisers from their schools, and the winners are chosen by the Exchange Club based on academics, participation in intra- and extra-curricular activities, and by their essays expounding on an annual theme provided by the National Exchange Club. Local winners are honored with monetary scholarships and plaques at an awards lunch, and the top winner is entered in a competition that could lead to a $10,000 scholarship from national. For questions, contact Joliet Exchangites Nick Reiher or Linda Erickson, or the guidance counselor at one of the participating schools. The selection process begins in late January each year.