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Courtney Patterson Southwest Youth of the Year

Boys & Girls Club of Choctaw County • Hugo, Oklahoma

“My Boys & Girls Club allowed me to express my passion, pushed me to work harder, and helped me develop a diverse love for everyone … including myself.”

Emily Carvajal

Pacific Youth of the Year

Boys & Girls Clubs of South Valley • Murray, Utah

“I believe each of us has a purpose and a place in life. How we get there is up to us.The Club has helped me find my path.”

4 CONNECTIONS

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Youth of the Year

For his eighth birthday present, Courtney asked for a Boys & Girls Club membership. He kept attending the Club for 11 years. Even as events in 2011 threw him into depression, Courtney continued to attend the Club and help others. He served as vice president of Torch Club, the leadership and service group for youth ages 11 to 13. He threw himself into Junior Staff, the Club program that allows members to explore careers in human services. Courtney credits Power Hour, the homework help program, for fostering study skills that made him valedictorian of his high school class. He was very involved at his high school, too. He served as student council president, led a social media campaign to build a new school, and raised awareness about substance abuse, domestic violence and physical fitness. Courtney is now a freshman at the University of Central Oklahoma, where he studies marketing and graphic design.

Emily’s Boys & Girls Club was often like a safe port in a raging storm. Shuffled to 11 schools in as many years, and with a home life both unstable and uncertain, Emily responded to her circumstances with determination and positivity. She credits Club staff with helping her to keep pace with her peers, which enabled her to become the first in her family to graduate from high school. Emily has eagerly given back to her Club in numerous ways, including by giving tours and representing the organization at public events. She served as president of Keystone Club, BGCA’s teen leadership group, and mentored younger Club members as a Junior Staff participant. Emily is currently studying human services at Salt Lake Community College and plans to pursue a career in youth development.

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.