AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – There is a lot to celebrate at the Boettcher Boys & Girls Club in Aurora. Malachi Haynes won Youth of the Year for the Western region, so the club threw a party.

“Everybody was giving me high fives, and I felt like a superstar, so I kind of like it,” Haynes said of winning the award.

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Haynes’s sister and mother were capturing every moment and another special guest is on hand.

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“I just wanted to come down and wish him luck and tell him, ‘Congratulations.’ He’s a wonderful young man,” said Tony Frank, the President of Colorado State University in Fort Collins, and the Chancellor of the CSU system.

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CSU has a long partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Denver. Haynes plans to study exercise and health sciences there in the fall.

“One of the main things that CSU, as a land grant university, has always been interested in, it’s embedded in our DNA, is providing access to a world class education,” Frank told CBS4.

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Malachi got to this day after 12 years of hard work and dedication to the club. He credits it with shaping the man he is today.

“I’ve turned into a mentor and a leader, someone who takes on a lot of responsibility here at the Boys & Girls Clubs,” he explained.

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He coached sports, and started a reading program as a school project.

“I found five kids who were in dire need of a little bit more motivation and push for reading, and so I would help them read every Friday for an hour,” he said.

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Then as a reward, he would play basketball or football with them for an hour.

“Every member that participated in the program, improved their reading level by at least one level, so that was pretty big for us,” Haynes told CBS4.

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Now he’ll take his kindness and leadership skills to college and beyond. He eventually wants to go to medical school to be a sports medicine physician. This September, he’ll compete in the national Youth of the Year competition in Washington D.C.

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