D’marie sees himself as a role model for the younger members of the club, helping with homework, coaching basketball, and talking to junior members about peer pressure and overcoming obstacles. He is looking forward to being one of the first members of the Teen Junior Staff. His goal is to attend Western Michigan University and eventually become a counselor.
In an impassioned speech in front of judges and other attendees at the Youth of the Year competition, D’marie spoke to the importance of family and support systems, citing the Boys & Girls clubs as his second family. The organization has helped to shape his character, he said.
A judging panel headed by Kalamazoo Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice awarded D’Marie Youth of the Year honors for the Greater Kalamazoo area for the 2011-20012 school year. D’marie will head to the next round of the Youth of the Year program, and compete against local winners from around Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana.