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Hagerstown youth honored for service

March 21, 2002|BY LAURA ERNDE

Annapolis

State lawmakers Wednesday honored A 17-year-old Hagerstown youth as one of eight finalists for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Maryland Youth of the Year award.

Clif Carey has spent time at the Boys and Girls Club in Hagerstown almost every day since he was 6.

"Where I live you can get caught up in the street and drugs. It really turned me away from that," Carey said.

Now Carey works at the Pennsylvania Avenue club organizing activities for the younger members.

Carey was chosen from four finalists to represent Washington County. He was selected a statewide finalist from among students from 25 clubs across the state.

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Carey aspires to become a basketball coach or youth director for the Boys and Girls Club.

Basketball is one of Carey's passions. He plays for North Hagerstown High, which recently returned from the state championship tournament.

Carey plans to attend either Hagerstown Community College or Frostburg State University.

State lawmakers recognized Carey and the other finalists at a breakfast in Annapolis on Wednesday. Marcus Grant of Glen Burnie, Md., was named Maryland Youth of the Year.

"I was happy for the winner," Carey said afterward.

One of the speakers was Baltimore City Circuit Judge David W. Young, who grew up in Hagerstown attending what was then called the Boys Club.

Young approached Carey afterward to ask him about his family.

"I know your folks. My father and your grandfather were best friends," Young told Carey.

Young described how the Boys Club gave him his first camping opportunity and his first boxing lesson.

"We didn't know we were poor, but looking back we didn't have a lot," he said. "I came from what I call humble beginnings, but I'm testimony that where you start out is not necessarily where you finish," he said.

The club taught him how to resolve problems peacefully by putting him in a room with his foe until they talked out their differences, he said.

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