Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year
The Boys & Girls Club of Vineland named Essence Johnson, 16, of Pittsgrove, its 2017 local Youth of the Year.
Johnson is a sophomore at Schalick High School.
She will compete against other local winners in the state competition at a gala celebration June 6 at Montclair State University.
Johnson plans to be a social worker and will attend Cumberland County College after graduation from high school. She credits the Boys & Girls Club for helping her be more confident and perform better in school.
Johnson has served as vice president of the community service Keystone Club for two years. She participates in the Bags for Beauties project to collect handbags and hygiene items for homeless women, the Relay for Life project and works on the community garden Project Grow.
She also assists in the youth homework group and Smart Moves, which helps youth learn about the problems with alcohol and drugs.
In 2015, Boys & Girls Club of Vineland local winner Jennifer Negron was named the state winner, and in 2016 Alexia Lewis was named a state and regional winner.