Every child deserves the opportunity to be successful. This is what the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana believes. They’ve been providing opportunities for the children and teens of Northwest Indiana since 1954. Operating 10 clubs and with the support of an incredibly skilled and professional staff, they help build bright futures for children of the Region.
One of the ways that they do this is with the Youth of the Year Program. Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana believes leadership is not defined by age but by action. A place where young leaders of today will transform tomorrow.
Every year Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana recognizes the actions, perseverance and passions of a teen leader from each Northwest Indiana Club with its highest honor: the coveted Youth of the Year nomination.
Youth of the Year celebrates teens whose Club experience has empowered them to find their voice and achieve success through after school experiences rooted in what matters to them most – choice, access and passion.
With the upcoming Youth of the Year Reception on March 1, sponsored by American Licorice Company, Computer Services, Inc., Ace USA Limousines and WE CREATE Media, here are the nominees from the Region’s clubs.
Merrillville Club - Azariah plans on attending University of Indianapolis to become a medical laboratory scientist. Her plans aren’t just big for herself but for younger generations as well. “My vision for America’s youth today is for our youth to have and possess self-love.”
Lake Station Club - “I want to stand up and help others see their inner beauty, exclaims Lily” The Club helps people achieve this in many ways because the Club is just not a place for programs, sports or to hang out; The Club is a place for education, safety, fitness, memories but most importantly it’s an experience I wish more of our American youth had the chance to experience.
Cedar Lake Club - Phoebe is a leader inside of her Club and is active in soccer. “Going to the Club has shown me that I can be a leader at the Club and in the community. Being one of the older members, many of the little kids look up to me and I must give them a good example.”
Hammond Club - Samaria has been attending the Club for four years and aspires to be a lawyer. She encourages everyone to be themselves. “I am committed to making my friends and family proud of me and more importantly, me being proud of myself.”
JWA Gary Club – Marcus lives in Gary and admits that if not for the Club he would be a target for drugs, abuse, gangs and bullying. “When I walked through the doors of the Club three years ago, I was presented with different targets instead: character, leadership, success, responsibility, hope and opportunities.”
Duneland Club – “My purpose is to be there for others when I can and to spread the message of helping others,” says Katrina. Maybe my purpose is a result of the way the Club staff has always helped me and has had a great impact on my academic, personal and leadership development.
South Haven Club - Kale is an outstanding young man both on the court/field and in the community. “I am making a difference in the community because of the Club. The South Haven staff challenges us daily to be the best human beings we can be.” Kale is planning on attending Kelley School of Business at IUPUI.
Portage Club - Bryanna has an artistic mind and has won several awards in our National Fine Arts program. Not only is she an artist, but she loves to dance. “I believe that everyone should have the same opportunities to learn and grow. The Club has taught me that caring for my passions can lead me to success and achieving my dreams. Most young people do have dreams and having access to programs and services at the Clubs can help those dreams come true”
Valparaiso Club - Will is an academic scholar who has big dreams of attending Harvard to become a pediatric surgeon. “The Club has provided me so many opportunities that I couldn’t imagine being without.” Being around the younger members and mentoring them has opened his eyes and encouraged him to follow his career choice.
Come see these incredible individuals shine on an inspirational night dedicated to creating a GREAT future. These amazing young people exemplify the Boys & Girls Club mission and are proof of the impact Clubs make in transforming and saving kids’ lives. These youth are a living representation of the Clubs three priority outcomes which are 1) academic success 2) good character and citizenship 3) leading a healthy lifestyle.
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