Vanesa Rodriguez to Now Vie for State Title and Scholarship


Vanesa Rodriguez

Kansas City, MO, February 18, 2016 – Selected among several local outstanding youth, Vanesa Rodriguez will compete against other Boys & Girls Club members for the Missouri Youth of the Year title and a $5,000 college scholarship from Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA). The Youth of the Year program honors our nation’s most awe-inspiring young people on their path to great futures and encourages all kids to lead, succeed and inspire. As the new Youth of the Year for Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, 15-year old Vanesa is a true example of an extraordinary young woman recognized by Boys & Girls Clubs for her leadership, service, academic excellence and dedication to live a healthy lifestyle.

“Vanesa was nominated for her consistent participation, determination and great enthusiasm” David A. Smith, President and Club Alumnus of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City. “She is an incredible Club member and we are so proud of her”.

Vanesa is a currently a sophomore at William Chrisman High School in Independence, MO.  She is a member of the school’s volleyball team and was recently recognized for her achievements with a nomination for the National Academy of Future Physicians.  At the Boys & Girls Club, she has served as the Keystone vice-president, a teen group dedicated to leadership and community service, and is currently Keystone president. Vanesa can often be seen lending a helping hand by assisting Club office staff and mentoring younger Club members.

Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Youth of the Year recognition program is presented by Disney, who has supported BGCA for more than 50 years, empowering young people to reach their full potential and providing youth with access to the tools they need to build the great futures they imagine. Toyota, the Signature Sponsor of Youth of the Year, is committed to helping improve the quality of life in our communities, and has demonstrated a strong commitment to ensuring youth have access to a quality education. Additional support is provided by University of Phoenix, a national education partner that has joined with BGCA to impact academic success among youth across the country, and the Taco Bell Foundation, BGCA’s premier partner for teen empowerment.

If Vanesa Rodriguez 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 2016, 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, renewable each year up to $100,000 and will have the opportunity to meet with the President of the United States in the White House.

For more information about the Youth of the Year program, visit http://www.youthoftheyear.org.

About the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City

For more than one hundred years, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City has provided a fun and safe environment for youth, ages 5-18, to learn, play, meet new friends and grow. From sports, digital arts and media to group activities and tutoring, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City provides top-quality programs to more than 1,000 area youth each day.  Whether it is learning how an individual can make a difference in his/her community or learning how to swim – the Clubs strive to help youth feel important and put their dreams of a great future within reach. For more information, visit www.helpKCkids.org or facebook.com/helpKCkids        

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America

For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (http://www.GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, more than 4,100 Clubs serve nearly 4 million young people annually through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun, friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Priority programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at http://www.bgca.org/facebook and http://bgca.org/twitter.

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Sharon Cleaver, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, Direct Phone:  816-462-0136, Mobile Phone: 816-674-3721, Email Address:  scleaver@helpkckids.org / Web site:  www.helpKCkids.org