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started SEED to SOIL, a group that educates students and parents about healthy lifestyles and sustainable agriculture. Currently a student at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, she plans to become an attorney in the Air Force, followed by a career in politics and academia. “Boys & Girls Clubs saved and forever changed my life,” said Whitney. “My Club ignited a passion in me to achieve my dreams, and I’m proud to represent millions of teens and young Club alumni whose lives are forever transformed by their Boys & Girls Clubs.” Whitney will serve as our official teen spokesperson for the next year. She will also receive $145,000 in academic scholarships, a new car from Toyota and a trip to Disney World. Thanks to Youth of the Year sponsors Disney, Toyota, University of Phoenix and Taco Bell Foundation, Youth of the Year will award more than $1 million in scholarships to Club teens this year.

As part of the new, expanded Youth of the Year program, Whitney and her five National Youth of the Year co-finalists spent the week leading up to the celebration in Washington D.C., where they had the opportunity to watch the Phillies/ Nationals baseball game, visit the Newseum, a museum of news, and meet with members of Congress. In addition, they will meet with the President in the Oval Office at a later date. This year marked the first time the National Youth of the Year was announced at the Celebration Dinner.The change helped BGCA raise the program’s profile, allowing the National Youth of the Year announcement to be made on social media, another first. Those in attendance included BGCA National Spokesman and Club alum Denzel Washington, and singer and Club supporter Kelly Rowland. Read on to learn about all the remarkable teens who participated in this year’s National Youth of the Year Celebration.

For more information, please visit

Yo u t h o f t h eYe a r. o r g

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Connections Winter 2015-2016  

Reaching the Summit. National Youth of the Year finalists, a testament to the Club Experience.

Connections Winter 2015-2016  

Reaching the Summit. National Youth of the Year finalists, a testament to the Club Experience.