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The 2017 Family & Youth Annual Meeting and awards presentation was held on June 27, 2017 at L’Auberge Casino Resort. During the event Avrie Celestine and Charles Vanchiere wer presented with the Youth of the Year award and Randy Roach, recent Mayor of Lake Charles was awarded the Humanitarian of the Year Award.


Charles Vanchiere and Avrie Celestine where awarded the Youth of the Year award

Charles Vanchiere is a recent graduate of Barbe High School and has been an active member of The Leadership Center of Youth since his sophomore year. He has participated in Career Exploration, Chamber Day at the Capital, and the Civic Engagement Institute twice, once as a participant and again as a mentor for other students. Charles was also chosen to visit Washington D.C. in the summer of 2015 where students met with their Congressman to present issues that needed to be addressed, that they felt affected them and their peers in the community, which was a result of 2 months of their diligent work on the issues of concerns. Charles has served on the Youth Advisory Council, a youth elected and youth ran board, since 2014. He was 2015-2016 Vice Chair and served as 2016-2017 Chair. He has also volunteered at W. T. Henning Elementary School reading to the students, for the Read for the Record program sponsored by the Jr. League.  Charles was part of the team that help create the delicious King Cakes at Botsky’s for the Dough-nation fundraiser that raised money for programs for youth. He has volunteered at Abraham’s Tent to prepare food and feed the hungry at the center, just to name a few.

Aside from his dedication to The Leadership Center, Charles found time in his already busy schedule to participate on the tennis team, cross country team, and soccer team for St. Louis High School, as well as spending a year on a recreational soccer team.

Charles served as school representative his junior year to the Ambassadors Club and was a member of the school Quiz-bowl team his freshman and sophomore years, he also participated in productions by the Lake Charles Civic Ballet. He has served at the alter at St. Margaret’s Catholic Church for 7 years.

Charles is the son of Andrew and Lania Vanchiere. He recently graduated from Barbe High School as a Summa Cum Laude. He plans to attend the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in the fall of 2017 where he will major in Business Management.

Avrie Celestine is also a recent graduate of Barbe High School and has been a member of The Leadership Center for Youth since 2015, participating in Career Exploration, Kids CAN Engagement Breakfasts, and Chamber Day at the Capitol. Avrie was also chosen as a delegate for the Washington D.C. trip in the summer of 2015. Avrie was elected to the Youth Advisory Council in 2015; Serving as the 2015-2016 Community Impact Committee Chair and 2016-2017 Vice Chair. Avrie has volunteered at the Women’s Shelter Afterschool Program and spent time with the children there. She has also given her time helping at the City of Lake Charles Harvest Fest where children could celebrate Halloween in a safe environment,  and she spendt time and provide companionship to the residents at Resthaven Nursing home, to name a few.

Outside of TLC programs, Avrie was a Senior Student Council Senator, a member of the National Honor Society and Beta Club, and a Peer Group Mentor. She was also a member of the Key Club, Chorus, and served as Spanish Club Secretary. She has also volunteered with the Barbe Garden Club, and the Delta G.E.M.S. for Culture Festival and to conduct a clean-up at Oasis Woman’s Shelter.

Avrie is a member of Christian World and has served on the Children’s World Worship Team, and the Young Adult Life group.

Avrie is the daughter of Anthony and Angela Celestine. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Barbe High School this past May as well. Avrie plans to attend the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in the fall of 2017 where she will major in Speech Language Pathology.

Both Charles and Avrie make the future look bright and have demonstrated leadership, dedication, and commitment through their involvement with The Leadership Center of Youth and the community as a whole. Each of these young individuals have a unique set of skills that have enabled them to become great leaders and role models for others around them. Both have shown themselves to be wonderful representatives of teens in our community. We are thankful for all they have done in our community so far, and we look forward to seeing all that they will accomplish in the future.


Randy Roach was awarded the Humanitarian of the Year award

Randy Roach graduated from LaGrange High School and then received a Bachelor’s of Science in accounting and law degree from Louisiana State University. He and his wife Nancy have 2 children and 5 grandchildren together.

Roach served from 1988 to 1996 as a State Representative in the Louisiana Legislature, representing District 36, which included part of Calcasieu and Cameron parishes.  In a special election to fill then-Mayor Willie Mount’s place, he was elected Mayor of Lake Charles in 2000 and for the past 17 years has humbly served our City. He has had a successful political career at the state and local level bringing prosperity to all he served.

Roach has received awards for “Representative of the Year” by the Louisiana Federation of Teachers, “Citizen of the Year” by Lake Charles Kiwanis Club, “2014 President’s Award” from the Louisiana Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, along with many other accolades for his dedication to public service, promotion of the arts, and the welfare for all in Southwest Louisiana.

One of Roach’s favorite things to do as mayor was to attend community events and ceremonies for all types of organizations throughout Lake Charles. On a personal level, he is also a proud supporter of Family & Youth’s divisions including the Court Appointed Special Advocates and The Leadership Center for Youth, just to name a few. Roach has also graciously joined us for many of Family & Youth’s events including Dinner at Mi CASA, Derby for Dollars, and has participated in many of Family & Youth’s award breakfasts whether he was just attending the event or accepting their invitation to present an award. He has also been a continuous sponsor of Family & Youth and we are thankful for his dedication to making the story of this city & organization one that people from all around want to hear. His famous phrase “Let’s help one child at a time…”keeps all of us motivated to do the right thing.  He agrees with us and we agree with him… At the end of the day, our city, our community, our world will be measured by the way all of treat our children.