While most teenagers were watching the Olympics with their families on TV, 19-year-old Whitney Stewart was spending time with Bob Costas in the NBC Olympics studio right before he went on the air. Stewart was named the 2015-16 Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) National Youth of the Year for showing outstanding leadership, commitment to community service and academic excellence.
In further recognition of her hard work, Stewart was invited to attend the Rio Olympics as part of the My.Future initiative, which was launched by Comcast NBCUniversal with BGCA two years ago. The program is designed to teach Clubs members about technology and the digital world, and NBC Sports has helped show them how science and technology play a crucial role in broadcasting events like the Super Bowl, Stanley Cup Playoffs and Olympics.
Besides hanging out with Costas, Stewart got a tour of NBC’s daytime set at Copacabana Beach from Mike Tirico and went into the control room of swimming producer Tommy Roy. She visited the TODAY set and Late-Night set with Ryan Seacrest, and met the chairman of NBC Sports Group, Mark Lazarus. She also took time to cheer on some of Rio’s biggest Olympic stars: she saw Michael Phelps win his 28th Olympic medal in the pool, Usain Bolt win the 100m sprint and Simone Biles and Laurie Hernandez compete in the balance beam final. She even had a chance to congratulate Phelps, Biles, Simone Manuel and Katie Ledecky in person.