Southampton student named Franklin Youth of the Year

Published 12:04 pm Saturday, April 25, 2015

Earlier this spring, Southampton High School junior Cedric Cross was named the 2014-15 Boys and Girls Club Youth of the Year for Franklin. As the award winner, Cross received a trophy and a trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

An eight-year member of the club, Cross believes his school work and his character proved to be the deciding factors as to why he won the award.

“I have good grades, and I show character by the way I approach certain things,” he said.

Cross also said that the Franklin Boys and Girls Club helps him with his homework, and it gives him opportunities for several after-school recreational activities where he otherwise wouldn’t participate.

“The club has tremendously changed my life,” he said. “Without it, my grades would not look how they do today. I got honor roll, and I was just a couple more points from the principal’s list.

“I was the type of kid who didn’t want to do homework. They push you to do homework by sitting you down before you get to do recreational activities.”

Since 1947, the Youth of the Year award has been presented as the Boys and Girls Club of America’s premier recognition. According to its mission statement, the recognition celebrates the extraordinary achievements of its members.

Club members who earn the title embody the values of leadership service, academic excellence and healthy lifestyles, and exemplify the critical impact that the club has on the lives of young people.

The club recognizes members monthly, and selects a Youth of the Year, who then participates in local and state competitions. As the Franklin Youth of the Year, Cross competed in the Tidewater region competition on March 12 against students from Chesapeake, Eastern Shore, Norfolk and Suffolk. Cross did not win the local award, but said he appreciated the opportunity.

If he had won, though, Cross would have received an undisclosed scholarship amount and advanced to the state competition. State winners receive $5,000; regional winners $10,000, renewable for four years; and national winners have a chance at a $25,000 scholarship, renewable up to $100,000.

In addition to his dedication to the Boys and Girls Club, Cross also participates in the Southampton High School band, playing the trombone. Once he graduates from high school, he hopes to attend Virginia State University to major in criminal justice. Cross hopes to become a lawyer upon receiving his degree.

Planning for his future is all on hold, though, as he’s most excited about his return trip to Disney.

“I went when I was 14 years old,” he said, “and I can’t wait to go back to Magic Kingdom.”