Carothers is Youth of Year

PLYMOUTH — Although Billie Carothers is now 18, headed to college in the fall, and thinking about a future in teaching, executive director of the Marshall County Boys and Girls Club Billie Treber still recalls the day that she met her namesake.
“I remember when she walked into the club for the first time,” said Treber. “She was a little 8-year-old with blond pigtails.”
Treber and Carothers formed a close bond over Carothers’ 10 years as a club member, and Treber will be accompanying Carothers this weekend to compete in a state-wide “Youth of the Year” contest in Indianapolis.
Carothers was selected as Youth of the Year locally by board members, based on her answers in a short questionnaire.
“It was really easy for me to answer (the questions),” said Carothers, explaining that her “wonderful, irreplaceable friendships” with Boys and Girls Club staff and members over the years influenced her answer to the question: What does the club mean to you?
As a junior staff member for the past several years, Carothers has had the opportunity to mentor younger students. Her experiences at the club helped her decide to major in elementary education this fall.
“I really love working with kids, and I guess the club has influenced that,” said Carothers. “I love to be here, and it doesn’t feel like a job. (The club) is the one thing I’m not really ready to give up as I head to college.”
Treber said that Carothers’ mature attitude has helped her formed relationships with club members’ parents.
“She’s always on top of her game,” said Treber, adding that because Carothers treats parents in an adult manner, parents easily respond to the teenage staff member with respect.
Carothers will be letting her passion for the club show this weekend as she competes against 25-30 other students, hoping to win the $1,000 scholarship. She will have to answer additional questions, as well as give a three minute speech. She’s hoping to represent Marshall County well in the contest, but Carothers won’t take all the credit for the award. She recognizes that others — Boys and Girls Club staff and teachers at the high school —have helped her achieve her goals and grow as a person.
“I feel that it has been such an honor to touch children’s lives in ways that others have touched mine — even when they didn’t realize it,” said Carothers.