By Kimberly Fu
With nerves of steel Thursday, four Vacaville teens shared painful personal experiences in a public forum in hopes of snaring a coveted honor, that of Vacaville Neighborhood Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year.
With cheers and squeals, the hard-won title went to Brienna Eaton, a 15-year-old Vanden High School sophomore and soccer player.
“I’m really proud to have been chosen,” she said, expressing surprise with the win. “And I’m glad my peers were so supportive of me.”
The bubbly teen, together with Julian Howard, David Quintero and AnaKaren Zanabria, had spent hours refining the speeches about a tough time in their lives and how the Boys & Girls Club impacted them.
Brienna spoke about a parental rift and a motor vehicle accident that critically injured her father, now healed. The accident sent her sister’s confidence, and her own, on a downslide, she said, and it was a hard thing to deal with. Then came the Boys & Girls Club in eighth grade to reel her back in.