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Murray Journal

Murray High teen selected to be Utah Youth of the Year by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America

May 07, 2024 02:53PM ● By Ella Joy Olsen

Noah Shaw, currently a junior at Murray High School, has been selected to be the Utah Youth of the Year by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. He will compete at the regional level this summer. (Photo courtesy Boys & Girls Club of Murray)

A Murray High student was recently selected to be the Utah Youth of the Year by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. 

Noah Shaw is currently in his junior year, where he is a defensive lineman on the football team. He is also part of BSU (Black Student Union), where his older sister is the president, and where they create service and inclusion activities for fellow students.

After school, at the Boys & Girls Club of Murray, Noah is a friend to all and a favorite of the staff. He has been attending the Murray club since he was 4 years old.

“Noah creates a fun atmosphere among his friends, but he also demonstrates a willingness to step in and address any instances of disrespect from fellow youths,” recalled Jillian Orr, former Club director and Noah's teen director. “Remarkably, he manages to correct such behavior with a personable approach, ensuring a harmonious environment for everyone involved.”


The Boys & Girls Clubs provide an after-school safe space where youths can come together to learn skills, but most importantly, to have fun.

“One of my favorite activities through the years would be playing thunderball,” Noah said. “We [teens] created the game. It’s a mix between basketball and capture the flag.” 

“Noah’s passion for cooking shines at the Club, whipping up batches of pancakes or breakfast burritos on those cherished no-school days,” Orr said. “Or the time he took charge of our humble snack shack at the Club for a fundraising initiative, making chocolate shakes for the young juniors who eagerly exchanged their handfuls of quarters.”

“He also delights in playing Super Fight, a card game that draws on his extensive knowledge of pop culture, history, anime and current events,” said Sean Distance, Noah’s current teen director. “His expertise in these areas makes him a tough competitor in the game.”


A hard worker, Noah also holds two jobs. One at the Boys & Girls Club in their sports programs as a Junior Jazz referee, and the other at Jamba Juice.

“Noah is an active leader in our teen center, mentoring younger students and setting a positive example. He has played a key role as treasurer in our Keystone leadership and civil engagement program,” Distance said. “And he organized a community cleanup and tree planting in our neighborhood.”

Noah was also appointed as a National Youth Ambassador by the After-school Alliance where he traveled to Washington, D.C. to testify before the U.S. Department of Education, advocating for after-school funding. 

“Boys & Girls has helped me learn how to be confident and talk to adults, and to be the social person that I am,” Noah said. “There were over 100 people in the room when I spoke at After-school Day on the Hill, representatives and congress people. I also got to meet personally with Congressman (Burgess) Owens.”


As the Utah Youth of the Year, Noah will receive a $5,000 college scholarship from Boys & Girls Clubs of America.   

“When we were in Washington, D.C. we stayed in the dorm rooms at the American University,” Noah said. “It gave me a taste of college life.” 

Noah has researched and would love to attend Arizona State University because, “the business program is great, and the football stadium is awesome. I don’t think I could play there, but I’d love to go to the games.”

This summer, Noah will join other Youth of the Year winners to vie for the Pacific regional title. If he is awarded the regional title, he will receive an additional $20,000 college scholarship. 

The five regional finalists, along with the National Military Youth of the Year, will advance to the National Youth of the Year event in October 2024. The National Youth of the Year will receive an additional scholarship of $50,000 and a new Toyota Corolla.

“We are incredibly proud of Noah and all the Youth of the Year nominees,” said Jim Clark, president and CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “Being named Youth of the Year is a lifelong honor and accomplishment. As the Utah Youth of the Year, Noah will serve as a spokesperson for Boys & Girls Club kids and teens across the state who need more role models that they can admire and emulate.” λ