Eagle Scout Named Wayne YMCA’s 2018 Youth of the Year

By: News and blog | Thursday, May 2, 2019 | Volunteering

Jason Kobrin, the 2018 Youth of the Year for the Wayne YMCA

At White Pines Day Camp, campers call Jason Kobrin the ‘coolest Scout counselor,’ but the flattering designation doesn’t fully capture the impact he’s had on the Wayne YMCA summer camp.

As his Eagle Scout project, Kobrin created a fire pit and benches for campers to enjoy. “I wanted to build something to improve the summer camp in particular, because of how much that had influenced me,” Kobrin explained.

The 17-year-old Wayne Hills High School senior was honored as the Wayne YMCA’s Youth of the Year for 2018 at the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges’ annual awards dinner on April 11. The Wayne YMCA is one of seven Metro YMCA branches.

“Both at the Y and in the Wayne community, Jason is a positive role model for our children,” Wayne YMCA Youth and Family Engagement Director Lisa Sheafer said. 

“Jason was not only always engaged with the children in his group, but he also proved to be one of our most responsible and trustworthy counselors,” Sheafer said. She noted Kobrin showed maturity, patience and kindness in keeping a child with special needs engaged.

“It is really awesome to know that someone appreciates all the work you put in, every little thing you do, in order to make a kid’s day a little bit better,” Kobrin said of being honored.

A former White Pines Day Camp camper, Kobrin spent three summers as a counselor in training before becoming a junior counselor. He now also works with the YMCA’s after-school care, teen, and sports programs, Sheafer said.

Kobrin said Shaquan Brown, former camp director and travel basketball coach, was a big influence in his life. While the basketball team had a losing record, Brown taught players respect, perseverance, determination and self-confidence, he said.

At school, Kobrin led the marching band as drum major, an experience he regards as “the best decision I’ve made in my life.” He described the role as “a team captain and a coach combined into one.” Kobrin, who lives in Wayne with his parents and younger brother, said he intends to study aerospace engineering in college.

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