Youth of the year

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 25, 2005

It’s a wonder that Montreal Scott has any free time at all.

Four days a week, the King’s Fork Middle School student cleans and cooks at Jay’s Rib and Chicken restaurant. He sings in the choir of the New Calvary Baptist Church, where he’s on the youth usher board. He plays junior varsity football for King’s Fork High School.

And, several afternoons a week, he heads to John F. Kennedy Middle School to help out other local youths in Suffolk’s Boys and Girls Club. That’s where he recently got a very special surprise.

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Back in December, Scott was helping some boys learn the basics of basketball. Another staff member came to the court, and took him aside.

A panel of judges had just elected him the Club’s 2004 Youth of the Year.

&uot;I was excited,&uot; Scott said. &uot;I never thought I’d be Youth of the Year.&uot;

On the advice of a cousin, he joined the organization three years ago.

&uot;It keeps you out of trouble and it’s got a lot of fun activities,&uot; he said.

Aside from coaching, Scott is a member of the Keystone Club, a leadership group for youths age 14-18, and Stay SMART, a program designed to help kids avoid alcohol, drugs, smoking and violence.

&uot;The staff is always teaching me something new,&uot; he said. &uot;You have to stay in school and get an education, because without that, you can’t do anything. SMART keeps your head to straight. If you’re going to play sports, you can’t use drugs or alcohol, because they bring your body down.&uot;

&uot;Montreal has always exhibited leadership,&uot; said unit director Latasha Newton. &uot;He’s an all-around Club kid. He has the heart and the passion for it.&uot;

In April, Scott will head to Norfolk to compete against other local Youth of the Year winners for the state title. He’ll conduct interviews with a panel about his hopes (he’d like to attend Virginia Tech and major in hospitality and tourism management) and what he’s done for the Club.

&uot;I don’t know what’s going to happen,&uot; he said, &uot;but I think I’ll be ready.&uot;