2017 Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City Youth of the Year
Selected among several exceptional Club members, KaeShawn S. earned the title of 2017 Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City Youth of the Year and received a $1,000 scholarship.
KaeShawn is a currently a sophomore at Sumner Academy in Kansas City, Kansas. Her favorite subject is math and her favorite class is Spanish. She is a member of the school’s debate team and participates in theater. KaeShawn’s post-secondary plans include majoring in Biology while pursuing a minor in Spanish. Her long-term goal is to become a Neurologist. At the Boys & Girls Club, she participates in the Keystone Club, a teen group dedicated to leadership and community service, and SMART Girls, a health, fitness, education and self-esteem enhancement program for girls. KaeShawn is an advocate for teens and hopes to spread her S.L.O.Y, Stop and Listen to Our Youth, message nationwide.
If KaeShawn wins at the state competition, she will compete for the title of Midwest Region Youth of the Year and an additional $10,000 college scholarship, renewable for four years, up to $40,000. Five regional winners will advance to Washington, D.C., in September 2017, to compete for the title of BGCA’s National Youth of the Year. The National Youth of the Year will receive an additional scholarship of $25,000, also renewable for up to four years, totaling $100,000 and will have the opportunity to meet with the President of the United States in the White House.
About The Program
The Youth of the Year Program is a leadership development program that celebrates the remarkable lives of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City members who have distinguished themselves by rising above challenging circumstances. Six finalists are chosen from their unit locations based on moral character, community involvement, academic achievements, and obstacles that they have overcome. During the selection event program, each youth will tell their stories to Club friends and supporters. One teen finalist will be selected as the winner. The newly named Youth of the Year will next compete against other Boys & Girls Clubs members across Missouri for the state title. State winners move on to vie for the distinction of one of five regional winners across the country, and ultimately those five winners will contend for the title, National Youth of the Year. The judging criterion for each event consists of public speaking, one on one interview, service to Club and community and academic achievement.
Program History & Prestige
The Youth of the Year program was founded nearly 70 years ago through the generosity of the Reader’s Digest Foundation. Since 1947, the National Youth of the Year program has served as the primary vehicle for showcasing the exemplary achievements of Club youth. The Youth of the Year program has afforded hundreds of outstanding Club members an opportunity to meet presidents like Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. In addition, each year’s five regional finalists are honored at a congressional breakfast in Washington D. C. As the voice for some 4 million children and youth served by Boys & Girls Clubs, the National Boys & Girls Clubs Youth of the Year winners appear before congressional committees to speak on teen issues, participate in town hall meetings, appear on television and news programs and serve as ambassadors for other youth organizations. In addition to these prestigious duties, former Youth of the Year continue to play active roles in their local Boys & Girls Clubs communities. Previous winners have excelled in every aspect of the private sector, serving as doctors, lawyers, news reporters, Peace Corps volunteers, politicians and civic leaders in their communities.