Essex County News

Press Releases

Boys & Girls Clubs Announce Olympic Gold Medalist Laurie Hernandez as Master of Ceremonies for Youth of the Year Gala


MONTCLAIR, NJ — The Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey announced this week that 2016 Olympic Gold & Silver Medalist and “Dancing with the Stars” Champion Laurie Hernandez will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the NJ State Youth of the Year gala on June 6 at Montclair State University, Conference Center Ballroom in Montclair.

The Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey Youth of the Year gala and awards ceremony celebrate the extraordinary achievements of New Jersey’s most exceptional Club teens. The event will include the announcement of the 2017 New Jersey State and Military Youth of the Year winners. A total of $60,000 in college scholarships will be awarded.

“My goal of making it the Olympic Games motivated me to work very hard in my sport,” said Hernandez. "I am honored to serve as Master of Ceremonies of BGCNJ’s Youth of the Year gala, and celebrate New Jersey’s most inspiring club teen leaders who have also worked so hard to achieve success."

Sign Up for E-News

“We are thrilled Laurie is serving as the Master of Ceremonies for this premier recognition program that celebrates NJ Club teen leaders,” said state director, Susan Haspel. "We know the NJ Youth of the Year finalists will be inspired by Laurie’s tremendous passion, hard work and dedication towards achieving her dreams. In turn, Laurie will be inspired by the incredible achievements of NJ Boys & Girls Club youth in pursing their goals and dreams."

Hernandez burst onto the Senior Elite Gymnastics scene, just in time for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Her goal had always been to make an Olympic Team and her dream came true. She began gymnastics at the age of six, when she asked her mother to enroll her in the sport because she had so much energy and always wanted to experience the feeling of flying. 

Hernandez is second-generation American, as her grandparents are from Puerto Rico, making her the first U.S.-born Latina to make the U.S. team since 1984. She credits her hard work, leadership skills, and “never give up” attitude to her Mom, who was in the Army Reserves while Laurie was growing up.

Since bringing home the Gold and Silver medals at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Hernandez has gone on to win the coveted Mirrorball Trophy on “Dancing with the Stars” Season 23 and published (January 2017) her first book titled, “I Got This: To Gold and Beyond,” chronicling her journey thus far.

Her other career highlights include “Dancing with the Stars” Live! Tour, Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions, 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials, 2016 National Championships, 2016 Pac Rim Championships, 2016 City of Jesolo Trophy, 2015 U.S. Classic Champion, 2015 City of Jesolo Trophy and 2015 International Junior Japan Meet.

For more information on the Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey’s Youth of the Year gala, visit or call 973-773-0966, x151.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Mon, March 19, 2:00 PM

Livingston Town Hall, Livingston




Mon, March 19, 7:00 PM

Livingston Township Hall, Livingston

Livingston Township Council Conference Meeting



Mon, March 19, 7:30 PM

Livingston Township Hall, Livingston

Livingston Township Council Regular Meeting


West Orange Restaurant Week Heads Into Weekend; Don't Miss These Offers

March 16, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Restaurants and eateries from throughout West Orange are currently participating in the Downtown West Orange Alliance’s (DWOA) second annual Restaurant Week, which wraps up on Saturday.

There will also be an opportunity to win $250 in restaurant gift certificates for purchases made during Restaurant Week.

For every purchase made at ...

Valyrian Steel: Where is it All? Should We Still Care?

There is a glaring hole in recent Game of Thrones seasons that needs to be addressed: the ability of Valyrian steel to destroy White Walkers has not been acknowledged since before Jon Snow’s death.

In fact, it hasn’t been mentioned since the Season Five finale when Jon Snow reveals this discovery to Sam Tarly. Jon has cared about little more than the war between the living and ...


Jennifer Feinberg September 28, 1969 - November 7, 2016   Jennifer Stulberger ...
Read more
LIVINGSTON, NJ - Kristine Marie Mount Wells, 48, passed away peacefully, with her loving family by ...
Read more
LIVINGSTON, NJ - The family of Ilan Altman, a 1986 LHS graduate and long-time Livingston resident, ...
Read more
LIVINGSTON, NJ - Ilan Altman, 46, of Livingston died on March 28, just shy of his 47th birthday, ...
Read more
LIVINGSTON, NJ — Colgate University Golf is currently collecting gifts in memory of a ...
Read more
LIVINGSTON, NJ — Today we honor Jane Chesner. Our beloved Jane Chesner passed away ...
Read more
LIVINGSTON, NJ — The Livingston Police Department and longtime Livingston residents are ...
Read more

Health Alert: Child with Measles Traveled to Newark Airport on March 12

March 15, 2018

TRENTON, NJ — Anyone at Newark Liberty International Airport on Monday, March 12 between 12:45 and 9 p.m. might have been exposed to measles and should contact their health care provider, according to the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDH).

The NJDH has issued a public health alert after a child with a confirmed case of measles—a highly contagious ...

Komen North Jersey Pink Tie Party Set For March 16

March 12, 2018

SUMMIT, NJ - The annual Susan G. Komen North Jersey Pink Tie Party fundraiser affair is coming up.

The event, which will be held Friday, March 16 at The Grove in Cedar Grove, is focused on raising funds to support Komen’s BOLD GOAL:  to reduce the number of breast cancer deaths in the U.S. by 50% by the year 2026, by improving access to quality and ...