ST. CLOUD -- Local member of the Boys and Girls club of Central Minnesota, Jerry Akubue is heading to Chicago to compete in the 2013 Midwest National Youth of the Year competition.

17-year-old Akubue took home the title of the 2013 Minnesota State National Youth of the Year in April. He competed against out-spoken young adults from all over the state. Akubue walked away with a total of $13,000 in scholarship money.

Aimee Minnerath is the marketing manager of the Central Minnesota Boys and Girls Club. She says she thinks Akubue has what it takes to win the national competition.

Akubue is currently a staff member at the South Side Boys and Girls Club. His involvement with the organization started after his mother passed away from cancer.

He began going to the Boys and Girls Club when he was 10-years-old. He says the staff at the club got him to relax and come out of his comfort zone.

Akubue wasn't always as outspoken as he is now. He pushed himself to join the Tech High School speech team.

In his winning speech he wrote about his childhood and the struggles he faced with his mother's passing.

Akubue says as a kid he was always trying to come up with a cure for cancer, "I thought I could find ways. I mean, I tried orange juice and tooth paste, and none of that worked.  And then I realized that none of it would work. So, from then on that's (becoming a medical doctor) something I've always wanted to do."

Akubue plans on attending St. Cloud State University in the fall and eventually going on to medical school. He says his father is very proud and supportive of him.

He plans to use the scholarship money from the Youth of the Year competition toward his dream of becoming a doctor.

If he wins the Midwest competition he will receive a $25,000 scholarship and advance to the National Youth of the Year competition in Washington D.C.

Akubue will then have a shot at the national title and a $50,000 scholarship installed by the President of The United States.

Akubue will compete in the Midwest competition July 15th through the 18th.

See a video of Jerry Akubue below.