Youth of the Year

youth of the year
a legacy of hope & opportunity

In Boys & Girls Clubs around the world, caring staff members encourage and support the Club members they serve.  Through this nurturing environment, many develop sound character, leadership abilities and the willingness to give back to their community.  These are the qualities that make a Youth of the Year.  They are also some of the most important qualities young people need to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.
The National Youth of the Year program, Boys & Girls Cub of America's premier character and leadership initiative, recognized outstanding contributions to a Club member's family, school, community and Boys & Girls Club; as well as personal challenges and obstacles overcome.
Participants are chosen on local and state levels, culminating with five regional winners meeting in Washington DC, to compete for the National Youth of the Year honor.  Since the program's inception in 1947, each National Youth of the Year has met with the President of the United States to formally accept the award and begin a one-year term as the teen spokesperson for all Boys & Girls Club members.

The young people who earn recognition as Youth of the Year are living proof that Boys & Girls Clubs work.  Indeed, there is no stronger testimony that Clubs are truly "The Positive Place for Kids."

Meet the Boys & Girls Club of Greater New Bedford's
2015 & 2016 Youth of the Year

Dana has been a member of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater New Bedford for almost ten years and participated in a variety of Club programs. Friendly and easy-going she has been an exemplary member who has been a great role model for all youth to emulate. She also frequently volunteered at the Club in the Homework Room and the Artroom with daily tasks involving kids. “The Club has impacted me by not only being a positive place to be but by directing me down the path for a successful life.”

As a child Dana was very shy and timid but she says “The Boys & Girls Club served as an outlet for me to become more confident so that I could take advantage of every opportunity in life that came my way. As I get older I am realizing more and more how important it is to have a voice and I thank my Club for giving me one”.

A senior at New Bedford High School, Dana plays volleyball, is a cheerleader and takes part in spring track and field. She also found time to volunteer as cheerleading coach for the Pop Warner New Bedford Bears, volunteered at St. Luke’s Hospital and served food in soup kitchens to the homeless.

Dana is hoping to be accepted to Boston University where she will major in biology and plans to study for a career in medicine and work towards becoming a pediatrician.

Thank you to Lynn Lombard, Manager at Ninety Nine Restaurant/Dartmouth and Linda Rodriguez, Manager at Ninety-Nine Restaurant/Fairhaven for their many years of support of our Youth of the Year Program. Each year they present the Youth of the Year with an award certificate, gift card and a gift certificate to Ninety Nine Restaurants for themselves and their family to dine out.

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