Suffolk teen named top youth

Published 10:49 pm Thursday, March 18, 2010

Suffolk can be proud of another one of its youth.

Beating out other Hampton Roads nominees, Miracle Jenice Worrell was awarded the Boys and Girls Clubs 2009 Youth of Year for Southeast Virginia.

“It was such an honor,” Miracle said. “It was a dream come true.”

Worrell is a freshman at Howard University, where she is majoring in accounting and active in ROTC, and graduated as an honor roll student from Lakeland High School.

The Youth of the Year honor is awarded to students to celebrate their service to the club, community and family; academic performance; moral character; life goals; poise; public-speaking ability and ability to overcome.

Worrell’s ability to overcome was demonstrated before she even was born. True to her name, she is a miracle.

“I guess you could say I overcame a lot just to come into this world,” she said. “The doctor recommended to my mom that she have an abortion, because either she wouldn’t make it or I wouldn’t make it. And even if I made it, I’d have Down’s syndrome and clubbed feet. But none of that happened.”

With an innate ability to overcome obstacles, Worrell juggled her GPA and other teen challenges to become active in the Boys and Girls Club when she was in the seventh grade. She performed 100 hours of community service with the Suffolk Boys and Girls Club before working two years at the front desk.

Working at the front desk helped teach Worrell many basic skills that it would take to become an accountant, a profession that sparked her interest during high school.

Additionally, her time with the club taught her “to be independent and take responsibly for what I’m supposed to do,” she said. “A lot of young people graduate and leave home, and life becomes all about them. But that’s not true. You have to think about back home and the people who believe in you and the people who look up to you.”

And as with most things, “with every opportunity comes a responsibility,” she said. “I just want kids to know that you can be successful and overcome obstacles in your life. It’s really up to you to overcome that adversity. And with faith in God, there is nothing you can’t overcome.”