MUNCIE, Ind. (NewsLink)- Mentors are great motivators to achieve big things. The Boys and Girls Club offers high school students with an adult to look up to in order to keep them on track with their professional and personal goals. 

One of the mentor relationships that exists in Muncie’s Boys and Girls Club is between Jayonna Taylor, a sophomore at Muncie Central High School, and Gabrielle “Gabbi” Smith, who graduated from Ball State University over the summer and is a mentor. 

Smith pushed Taylor to work hard for the Youth of the Year award that the Boys and Girls Club presents. 

“Everybody [pushed me]. My mentor, Miss Gabbi, my parents. I had a whole bunch of people help me push,” Taylor said.

The award required the student to write essays and do a speech over why they deserve the award. This year, Taylor competed against one other person to get the award and she won. 

“It was cool to see the great sportsmanship between each other. I really liked seeing that,” Smith said. 

Smith and Taylor met in August when Taylor started to attend the Boys and Girls Club regularly. They quickly became good friends. 

“I instantly fell in love with the person that she is. She’s just a great person,” Smith said. 

Smith hopes that Taylor keeps up the momentum of hard work for the state level Youth of the Year Award. The state level will feature Boys and Girls Club members from all over the state, so there will be more competition. 

“i’m pretty nervous,” Taylor said. 

Taylor has Smith’s support. 

“She’s got this.” Smith said. 

Taylor will head to the state competition for Youth of the Year, which will take place in Indianapolis in May.