Boys and Girls Club names top youth

Wednesday, February 24, 2016 - 11:24
  • From left to right are Jezer Pinon, 12, Heaven Kerschner, 14, Jaiden Yaskulski, 12, and Ben Jensen, 10, who were honored by the Boys and Girls Club on Feb. 16. Not pictured is Liam Murphy, who was named the Junior Boy of the Year. Kerschner was named Senior Youth of the Year, Pinon the Junior Girl of the Year, Jensen received the Sportsmanship Award, and Yaskulski received the Award of Excellence. Photo courtesy Tracy Hupe

Local youth were honored by the Eagle River Boys & Girls Club Alaska on Feb. 16 at Pizza Man Restaurant for being Youth of the Year in various categories.

Heaven Kerschner, 14, received the Senior Youth of the Year award. According to Tracey Hupe, the branch manager for the ERB&G club, Kerschner attends school every day and feels guilty if she misses a commitment at the club.

“Heaven is a future leader who does not command excellence but tries to build it each day,” Hupe wrote in an email announcing the B&G club winners.

Ten-year-old Liam Murphy received the Junior Boy of the Year based on his consistent search for character development.

“It is very rare that someone Liam’s age has become the focal point from his peers,” Hupe wrote. But, “they have noticed the personality and character he possesses. He has earned the respect, esteem and affection of every  member and staff at the Eagle River B&G club.”

Jezer Pinon, 12, earned the Junior Girl of the Year award for her enthusiasm about her participation and work at the B&G club.

“She has a contagious spirit that draws others to want to model her behavior,” Hupe wrote. “Jezer has that talent as a leader today and what every leader of tomorrow wants to acquire: the ability to inspire.”

The Sportsmanship Award went to Ben Jensen. The 10-year-old demonstrates excellent sportsmanship at the B&G club in congratulating other players and winners while playing bingo, pool or tag.

“It’s all part of sportsmanship: a great tradition in sports and competition that means playing clean and handling both victory and defeat with grace, style and dignity. Ben does just this,” Hupe wrote. She added, “He tells everyone, ‘it is not really about winning. It is about all of the fun I have with my friends.”

The final award – the Award of Excellence for Integrity – was received by Jaiden Yaskulski, 12.

“Jaiden is a prime example of someone who is trustworthy and gives respect and strives to create solid relationships,” Hupe wrote. “She makes us feel good about ourselves and enables us to see the positive in others.”

Learn more about the Eagle River Boys & Girls Club online at

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