The Boys & Girls Club of the Wausau Area announced today Payton Steffen, a senior at Wausau East High School, as its 2022 Youth of the Year.

Payton was chosen through a rigorous selection and interview process spanning several weeks and involving a number of community partners.

Payton has been a member of the Boys & Girls Club of the Wausau Area for almost eight years.

“As Youth of the Year, I can show others how to turn their ideas into actions and help them see the potential that’s within them and highlight the difference they can make for their club and community,” Payton said in a news release.

Youth of the Year is a signature effort of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, aimed at fostering new generations of leaders. Throughout the year, members are honored as Members of the Month – and from that pool of candidates, the Youth of the Year is selected.

Candidates draft a resume, create a cover letter and submit three essays as part of the qualification process. The candidates participate in interview preparations, which include answering sample questions and learning best practices for interviewing.

Payton will go on to to compete with candidates from across the state to be named Wisconsin’s Youth of the Year. The state winner will go to the regional competition, where the winner will head to the national stage.

The National Youth of the Year serves as both an ambassador for Boys & Girls Club youth and as a strong voice for all of our nation’s young people. The National Youth of the Year will attend regional and national events, and serve as a leader on key issues, by inspiring people with their personal story and helping others to replicate the success they’ve realized in their young life.