Selected among 15 outstanding youth, Ridgefield resident Allie Cauchon has been named the Connecticut Youth of the Year by Boys & Girls Clubs of America. The Youth of the Year title is a prestigious honor bestowed upon an exemplary young person in recognition of leadership, service, academic excellence and dedication to live a healthy lifestyle. Now in its 72nd year, the Youth of the Year program honors our nation's most awe-inspiring young people on their path to great futures and encourages all kids to lead, succeed and inspire. As the Connecticut Youth of the Year, Allie will serve as an ambassador for all teens in the state, will receive a $5,000 college scholarship from Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and will go on to contend for the regional Youth of the Year and ultimately the national title. As a six-year club member, Allie has volunteered more than 1,000 hours of community service throughout high-school. She has coordinated several successful community service projects with local organizations, including NAMEPA, Meals on Wheels, and most recently with the Ridgefield Prevention Council. She has participated in almost every leadership program the Club has to offer, including our Leader-In-Training program and our Junior Staff Volunteer Program, and currently serves as the Keystone Club's Vice-President. Most impressively, Allie has done all of this, and more, while taking six AP classes, playing the cello, and dancing. "Allie has grown up at the Club, and has truly emerged as a leader amongst her peers. She is mature beyond her years, has overcome adversity while always having a positive attitude, and we couldn't ask for a better mentor and role model for our younger Club members," said Mike Flynn, the club's executive director. "She earned this opportunity through her unmatched dedication and commitment to the Club. She worked extremely hard through both the local and state processes and it shows. It's been a privilege to watch her mature into the incredible young lady she is today, and we are excited for the opportunities winning Connecticut State Youth of the Year will provide her. We are so unbelievably proud of her." Allie is the first Ridgefield Club member to win on the state level. "This achievement is really a testament to us as an organization, and the Ridgefield Community who continues to support the Club and our kids," Flynn said. "We have spent the better part of a decade building our program to have the ultimate impact on our Club members. Our Board of Directors has championed this effort by investing in our teens, our Keystone Club and our Youth of the Year Program, and of course, none of this would be possible without our donors and community supporters, and most of all our Club kids past and present, especially Allie." In June, Allie will join other state winners to vie for the Northeast regional title. "We are incredibly proud of Allie and all the Youth of the Year nominees," said Jim Clark, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. "Being named Youth of the Year is a lifelong honor. As the Connecticut Youth of the Year, Allie will serve as a spokesperson for Boys & Girls Club kids across the state who need more role models that they can admire and emulate." "The Boys & Girls Club has changed my life in ways I never thought possible. My Club family keeps growing, and I couldn't be more thankful," Allie said after winning Wednesday night. "I am incredibly honored to represent BGCR and our Club members, and am extremely grateful for the opportunity to not only continue to represent BGCR, but all of the Boys & Girls Clubs, and their members, in Connecticut."