ST. CLOUD -  The Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Minnesota awarded its annual Youth of the Year. This year's winner was 17-year-old Marque Morris.

From the minute you meet young Marque you are greeted by his infectious smile and incredible personality. What may be his best characteristic could be his humility, which he showed after winning the award when he just wanted to talk about the other finalist, Nature Hollins.

"We both know what we are capable of so lets just make our dreams happen. I can't say enough about her. She's funny, she's cool, shes creative, and as everyone can see she has a great smile." says Morris.

When his name was announced you could see him fighting off surprise and emotion. Morris says he was just happy to be a finalist and did not expect to win.

"I wanted to cry but I held it in. I was just amazed, and thought if I could do it anyone could do it."

From Left to right. Nature Hollins (Youth of the Year Runner-up), Marque Morris Photo courtesy of Aimee Minnerath
From Left to right. Nature Hollins (Youth of the Year Runner-up), Marque Morris
Photo courtesy of Aimee Minnerath

Some of his first few years at the club he flew under the radar. That was until staff learned about a little talent he was hiding.

It turns out that Marque was a natural performer. He gave a lot of credit to Tony Rose, a staff member at Boys and Girls Club, for helping him find his talent for performing.

"For him he's already a natural performer, it was just really simple. Tell him you can do it you have been doing it. It was just magic after that and his confidence was visible," says Rose.

After receiving the award Marque showed us all some of his incredible talent by singing a little bit of Man In The Mirror by Micheal Jackson.

Morris joined the Boys and Girls Club in 2008 after moving from Chattanooga, TN. He and his family went through incredibly tough times and he found the club to be a safe place for him to learn and grow.

"The club is the best place to start. Its not just for little kids is for everyone. When it said great futures start here it convinced me to start. I took my chances on it and continue to take my chances on it because they continue to push me. And they will continue to oush me to help me get to where I want to go," says Morris.

Morris still has another year of high school but already has college on his mind. He talked about going to McNally Smith for music production and singing but is open to new wide range of possibilities.


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