(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.

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

“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.

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.