Kiley Hutton has a never give up attitude. That determination has propelled her to become the 2022 Youth Of The Year winner for the Goshen Club. She will now join the winners from Elkhart, Middlebury and Nappanee in a Boys & Girls Clubs of Elkhart County competition in February.
“Winning this feels rewarding. If I win the next level, it will mean the world. It will show everything I have overcome and what I can overcome in the future,” Hutton said.
Talking to this confident young woman, you would not expect to learn that just a couple of years ago she was in danger of failing out of school. Anxiety led to depression which hampered her school work.
“I started crying. I know who I am as a person and that did not reflect me,” she said. “It put me in a vulnerable position and I talked to my teachers and did my best to get back on track. They saw the potential and helped me do that.”
Now the high school junior is preparing to graduate a year early. She credits Club for helping her gain confidence. She attended Club for a couple of years and is now in the internship program working with younger kids.
“When I started working here, I saw a community. Everyone seems like a light to the world in their own way. It gave me the inspiration and drive to better myself,” Hutton said. “I knew I couldn’t take for granted coming in here if I wasn’t someone younger kids could look up to.”
“We’ve seen her grow and develop. As a teen intern, she’s great working with the younger kids. She has the confidence to give them direction,” said Goshen Program Manager Natalie Williams. “She’s grown into this person you can trust to do anything.”
Hutton give a speech and answers questions from the judges during the Goshen Youth Of The Year competition
Hutton said she loves being an example to the younger kids.
“I get to give to other people’s bucket, but it fills mine at the same time. When I work with the kids they light up. They’re excited to see me when I walk into the room,” she said.
Working with kids is a passion she plans to pursue after she graduates from high school.
“Her desire to pursue a career in child psychology will be a fit. I expect great things from her and I know she will impact other people’s lives in the future,” said Goshen Area Director Tanner Pickett.
For now, Hutton is focused on the next step in the competition.
“I’m looking forward to taking the feedback (from the Goshen judges) and advancing to the next level of competition and getting more feedback,” she said. “The last couple of years have been hard, but I love telling my story and how it’s impacted me. Now I can impact others.”
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