Lainey Gaiero Named Youth of the Year!

James L. McKeown Boys & Girls Club of Woburn proudly announces that Lainey Gaiero of Burlington, MA is the winner of the 2020 PFC Joseph L. Drew Youth of the Year Award. Lainey was chosen from a pool of wonderful upper classmen who are members of the Boys & Girls Club and who are nominated based on academic success, commitment to leading a healthy lifestyle, passion for their experience at the Boys & Girls Club and overall character and leadership.

Locally, this award, the top honor bestowed by the Club on an annual basis, is named in memory of Private First Class Joseph L. Drew. Joe was an original member of the Woburn Boys Club in 1964. He served his community through his participation in the Key Club and the St. Charles CYO. Joe entered the United States Marine Corps and was shipped to Vietnam where he spent 214 days. He was featured in the CBS News documentary, This Day Has 12,000 Miles which aired December 23, 1965. He was killed in action December 27, 2965 – just days before his 19th birthday.

Youth of the Year candidates are nominated in an open process and a group of finalists is selected by the Club’s professional staff. Finalists for the award in 2020 also included Caleb Sawicki, Brendan Tighe, and Matthew Tilly all of Woburn, MA. Finalists are asked to complete an application consisting of essays and letters of recommendation. They are then interviewed by a panel of judges composed of 2 staff members and 3 representatives from the community. The panel of judges make the final decision. Volunteer judges for this year’s difficult competition included Craig Iverson, Greg Murphy, and John Sheehy.

The Club’s 2020 PFC Joseph L. Drew Youth of the Year, Lainey Gaiero, is a junior at Burlington High School where she is a member of the National Honor Society and a participant in the field hockey program. She has been a member of the Boys & Girls Club for ten years and has been heavily involved in several programs, with a focus on character and leadership development. Currently she serves as the vice president of the Intrepid Keystone Club, a Jr. Staff member, and the advisor of the Gemstones community service club for elementary school students. Lainey is also passionate about helping others outside of the Boys & Girls Club. For a number of years, she has served as a team captain for Relay For Life of Burlington to benefit the American Cancer Society. This year alone, Lainey has completed 280 hours of community service.

Armed with a passion to help others, Lainey plans to attend a four-year college and hopes to have a career in social work one day. When asked about her experience at James L. McKeown Boys & Girls Club of Woburn, she says “The Club has acted as my second home and family along with giving me a lifetime of unforgettable memories. It has also helped me grow as an individual and give back to a place that means so much to me and my family!”