Denfeld News

May 6, 2010
Duluth News Tribune

Denfeld senior wins statewide Boys and Girls Club award
By Jana Hollingsworth

The first female to be named Minnesota’s Boys and Girls Club Youth of the Year is from Denfeld High School.

Michelle Hobbs is a senior and 11-year member of the club in Duluth. She also is the first Duluthian chosen for the statewide award in 30 years.

“I’ve been a member of the club for so long. … It was such a big honor,” Hobbs said. “I’m about to leave for college, so it was a culmination of all my time at the club.”

Hobbs, 18, has been working with youths for more than three years. She presides over several mentoring and volunteer groups within the club and works hard to get younger students involved, said Marcia Kane, director of operations for the Duluth Boys and Girls Club.

“She’s been a really great role model for our kids here,” she said. “There is this group of kids that may not normally hang out in class or in school, but at the club those boundaries … kind of diminish. She’s been successful in getting kids to join.”

Hobbs said the club has provided her with male role models to help her overcome personal struggles at home. Without the club in her life, she said, she doubts she’d have plans for her future or be as involved in the community.

“I used to be very shy,” she said. “The club was a place where I really got a lot of new opportunities … and became more outgoing.”

Hobbs plans to work with another club in Minneapolis when she attends the University of Minnesota for elementary education next year. She was awarded $12,000 in scholarships as youth of the year and will advance to a regional competition, with the chance to go Washington, D.C., and be chosen as national winner by President Obama.

The award recognizes teens for outstanding contributions to a member’s family, school and community, along with overcoming obstacles.

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