(CBS) — An 18-year-old Chicago college student could be on the verge of claiming the Boys & Girls Club of Chicago’s Youth of the Year award.

Joanna Burns is among eight Boys and Girls Club finalists in this year’s competition.

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She says before enrolling in the club, she lacked the discipline to succeed. Now, she’s talking about a career in science.

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“I’m actually happy to get my story out there even if I win or lose,” Burns said.

The event will be held Tuesday, March 8 in the Grand ballroom at Navy Pier.

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The Chicago winner will compete on the state level and the state winner will then go to D.C. to compete at the national level.