Kelsey P. | 2017 YOUTH OF THE YEAR • CODY ROAD BRANCH
Kelsey, a graduating senior at Baker High School and last year’s winner, has been chosen as Boys & Girls Clubs of South Alabama’s and the State of Alabama’s 2017 Youth of the Year for the second year in a row. In fact, the State’s Youth of the Year has been a member of Boys & Girls Clubs of South Alabama five times over the past seven years. Kelsey will also be competing in the Southeast Regional Youth of the Year Competition in June to advance her title.
As a member of the Cody Road Branch, she participates in the Gavel Club, an outlet for teens to improve their public speaking skills, and founded “Teen Talk,” a weekly forum where teens discuss local events and national news. Kelsey credits participation in these two programs, along with her community involvement, for growing a once “voiceless” teen into a confident and independent young adult.
At Baker High School, she is a member of the School’s acclaimed dance team, is in the Advanced Placement Program and has a weighted 4.6 GPA. After graduating, Kelsey plans to attend Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to study political science and economics on a pre-law track. With a future law degree, she hopes to revolutionize the American welfare system, providing families the resources needed to become self-sufficient.
For winning the State title, Kelsey is the recipient of a $10,000 scholarship from the Beverly Burton Scholarship Trust and a $5,000 scholarship funded by Disney, Toyota, University of Phoenix, and the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens. For winning locally, she is the recipient of a $3,000 scholarship from the Emily Hearin Scholarship Fund. As a local and state Youth of the Year for two years in a row, Kelsey has received a total of $36,000 in scholarships.
Jace M. | 2017 YOUTH OF THE YEAR FINALIST • SEMMES BRANCH
Jace, a rising senior at Mary G. Montgomery High School, has been a member of the Semmes Branch for seven years. At the Club, Jace credits his participation in the Torch Club, a program through which youth develop a foundation of good character and integrity, with helping him find the compassion and empathy to put others before himself. He utilizes his Club-learned skills to illustrate compassion throughout his local community, within his church and at home mentoring his little brother, Joe.
At Mary G. Montgomery High School, Jace is a player on the varsity football team, an outstanding ROTC cadet, and is excelling in the Advanced Degree with Honors Program. After graduating, he hopes to attend the University of Southern Mississippi to pursue a career in the military as a second lieutenant.
As a 2017 Youth of the Year finalist, Jace is receiving a $1000 scholarship from the Emily Hearin Scholarship Fund.
Daleeicia T. | 2017 YOUTH OF THE YEAR FINALIST • OPTIMIST BRANCH
A graduating senior at Davidson High School, Daleeicia has been a member of the Optimist Branch for over six years. As an active Club kid, she participates in the “No Limits” Girls Aviation Program designed to provide aviation education and career development for young women, serves as president of the Keystone Club, and has won numerous best speaker awards during her time in the Gavel Club. An outstanding vocalist, Daleeicia performed several selections at the 2017 Boys & Girls Clubs Southeast Leadership Conference and at the 2017 Boys & Girls Clubs National Conference, including singing the National Anthem at the Opening General Session.
At Davidson High School, she serves as an E-1 Officer in the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps while also maintaining a spot on the AB honor roll. Daleeicia states her dream career is to join the U.S. Military as an aviator, and credits the “No Limits” Program for helping this dream become reality. Academically, she was recently awarded the Army College Fund and Montgomery GI Bill for continuing education, coinciding with her acceptance into Talladega College in Talladega, Florida, this past spring.
As a 2017 Youth of the Year finalist, Daleeicia is receiving a $1000 scholarship from the Emily Hearin Scholarship Fund.
Jadah R. | 2017 YOUTH OF THE YEAR FINALIST • KIWANIS BRANCH
Our resident Starbuck’s barista and junior at LeFlore Magnet High School, Jadah has been a member of the Kiwanis Branch for eight years. In her time as a Club kid, Jadah has excelled in the Robotics Program, doing so well she has been recognized by national partners and participated in regional contests. Contrasting with technology, she has a passion for art, crediting the Club with furthering her arts skills so much so they can be seen on murals around the City of Mobile.
Currently first in her Advanced and Honors classes, Jadah has the two other honors of being president of the local chapter of Future Business Leaders of America and serving in one of the highest positions in JROTC as the administration officer for the current school year. Aside from her academics, she has garnered a reputation of being one of the most caring young students at LeFlore High School. Jadah plans to continue using her creativity after she leaves the Club to pursue a degree in art at Tuskegee University.
As a 2017 Youth of the Year finalist, Jadah is receiving a $1000 scholarship from the Emily Hearin Scholarship Fund.
Jakobie F. | 2017 YOUTH OF THE YEAR FINALIST • SONNY CALLAHAN BRANCH
Currently a freshman at Theodore High School, Jakobie is also a four-year member of the Sonny Callahan Branch. As a younger Club kid, Jakobie has already utilized his Club Experience to the fullest, going from low grades to earning all A’s and B’s through the tutoring programs offered, and even learning skills like tying a tie during his time in the Passport to Manhood Program. Furthermore, he serves in a leadership role helping plan “#WeOwnFriday,” an opportunity for teens from the six year-round branches to come together for a night of fun once a month.
While completing his last three years of high school, Jakobie’s lasting goal within the Club is to create a new program titled “Always Be Myself,” serving as an outlet for members to combat issues involving peer pressure and bullying.
As a 2017 Youth of the Year finalist, Jakobie is receiving a $1000 scholarship from the Emily Hearin Scholarship Fund.
For nearly 70 years, the Youth of the Year program has honored and celebrated the nation’s most inspiring teens and their incredible journeys. Stories of outstanding leadership, service, academic excellence and dedication to living a healthy lifestyle have made Youth of the Year America’s premier leadership and recognition program for teens. These amazing young people represent the voice and spirit of hope for America. Inspiring all kids to lead. To succeed. To inspire.
Each year, one exceptional Club member
is selected to be the National Youth of the Year, serving as an ambassador for Boys & Girls Club youth as well as a voice for all of our nation’s young people. Over the decades, these individuals have exemplified the Boys & Girls Club mission and are proof to the impact Clubs make in transforming and saving kids’ lives. National Youth of the Year winners have achieved success in a variety of industries, including entertainment, politics, business and sports.
2016 YOUTH OF THE YEAR WINNERS
Kelsey P. , 2016 YOY Winner • Cody Road Branch
Krista L. , 2016 YOY Finalist • Sonny Callahan Branch
Tiffany P. , 2016 YOY Finalist • Kiwanis Branch
Jace M. , 2016 YOY Finalist • Semmes Branch
Deleeicia T. , 2016 YOY Finalist • Optimist Branch
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