HARTFORD — State lawmakers who represent Naugatuck Valley communities offered their support and praise of an area high school student named as a nominee for the Youth of the Year Award through the Boys and Girls Clubs of Connecticut. Organizers of the recent awards banquet at the state Capitol said Tasia Nieves of Ansonia is a true representative of the Valley—and a deserving nominee. Nieves is a Derby High School senior and she depended on the Boys and Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley in Shelton when she needed stability in her life.
State Reps. Themis Klarides, who represents Derby, joined Shelton lawmakers Jason Perillo and Larry Miller, as well as Ansonia legislator Len Greene, in recognizing the teenager’s considerable ability to overcome adversity faced by her family.
Nieves moved often, but the Shelton club was her rock. She has participated cooking, sports and youth leadership programs, and the club provided her with opportunities to make new friends and travel the country—all of it preparation for her bright future.
Together, the four state representatives said Nieves’ nomination is recognition of “outstanding contributions to your community and family, as well as your strong moral character and poise, making you an outstanding role model to your peers.”
Kwabena Afum, a New Britain resident who emigrated from Ghana, was named the overall winner Tuesday from a pool of 17 nominees at the awards banquet held in Hartford. He has plans to study medicine the University of Connecticut next fall.
It was Nieves, however, that stole the show—the Drama Club performer provided the crowd with a rousing a cappella version of the national anthem.