It is time for the Pell City Boys and Girls Club’s leaders to start choosing candidates for Red Diamond Youth of the Year — a tradition that dating to 1947. Since that time, it has evolved into a scholarship program that awards leadership abilities, academic excellence and a healthy lifestyle.

“We just pick a few of our best kids,” said Travis Hanes, administrator of the Pell City Boys and Girls Club. “We take them to a neutral location. The kids give speeches, interviews, write essays. A volunteer judge will choose who represents our club. That person will go on to compete in Central Alabama.” Whoever wins Central Alabama will also win Red Diamond Tea Youth of the Year.

In 2022, Pell City’s Coral Church was the winner and named 2022 Central Alabama’s Red Diamond Youth of the Year.

At the time, Church was a junior at Pell City High School with impressive qualifications: She had a 4.47 GPA and she was on the dance line, was vice president of the Student Government Association and also a member of the National English and Spanish Honor Societies.

Church received $3,000 in scholarship money from the Boys and Girls Club, and a $3,000 scholarship from Red Diamond Tea. She was also honored by the mayor of Pell City, Bill Pruitt, with a proclamation.

Those who win at the state level receive a total $15,000 in scholarship money and the opportunity to compete in nationals in Washington. The national winner receives more than $50,000 dollars in scholarship money. They also receive a Kohl’s gift card and a Toyota Corolla in what the organization calls a “star studded celebration.”

According to the BGCC, the Red Diamond Youth of the Year title is a prestigious honor bestowed upon an exemplary young person in recognition of leadership, service, academic excellence and dedication to living a healthy lifestyle. The organization has been giving out the award for more than five decades. Visit for more information.

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