Douglas County Teen Honored for Leadership in School, Club, and Community
ATLANTA – November 13, 2017 – Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta (BGCMA) is honored to announce the winner of its 2017/2018 Youth of the Year award – Kai Hartman of Douglas County Boys & Girls Club. The prestigious Youth of the Year award is BGCMA’s highest honor, recognizing teens from Clubs in the metro Atlanta area who are working hard, investing in themselves, and demonstrating leadership in their schools, Clubs, and communities.
On November 10, BGCMA welcomed nearly 20 Youth of the Year nominees and more than 600 attendees, including community leaders, supporters, staff, and family, to the signature Youth of the Year awards ceremony at the Loews Atlanta Hotel. Attendees heard speeches about where these young leaders started, how their Clubs helped shape who they are today, and what big dreams they have for the future.
“I’m so proud of our Youth of the Year candidates,” said Missy Dugan, president & CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta. “Our Clubs work to show kids that – even though they are young – they have a voice and can help drive positive change. It’s amazing to see all the ways these young leaders are giving back and making the world a better place.”
Research shows that building character and leadership skills early on can have a lasting impact on children’s lives for years to come. According to Youth.gov, high-quality service-learning programs have several benefits, including promoting teens’ civic awareness and commitment to continue contributing to their community and society as a whole.
“Thank you to all of our partners who make these programs possible,” said Dugan. “Through our shared vision, we are building an educated workforce, a healthy and active community, and a city full of young leaders like Kai.”
As Youth of the Year, Kai was awarded a $2,500 college scholarship, and in the spring of 2018, she will represent Metro Atlanta as Youth of the Year at the statewide competition.
“I can’t believe I won this big honor,” said Kai. “It’s a dream come true. Boys & Girls Clubs has helped me develop into the leader I am today and I want to make a difference by being a strong, positive example for kids and teenagers all across metro Atlanta. I will make you all proud.” Top honors were also awarded to Cory Seals of Samuel L. Jones Boys & Girls Club, first runner-up and recipient of a $1,500 scholarship.
BGCMA serves more than 3,300 kids and teens each year. Youth of the Year is a year-round character and leadership program that recognizes Club members who demonstrate academic achievement, leadership skills, and service to their community. BGCMA also focuses on helping youth succeed in school and live healthy. By 2020, the organization is working to ensure that 90 percent of the youth it serves are graduating on time, living healthy, and giving back.
BGCMA thanks all of its corporate and individual sponsors for opening doors for our youth. To find out more about this year’s Youth of the Year event, visit www.bgcma.org/youthoftheyear2017.
For more information on how you can become involved in shaping great futures, visit www.bgcma.org/get_involved.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta
Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta’s mission is to save and change the lives of children and teens, especially those who need us most, by providing a safe, positive and engaging environment and programs that prepare and inspire them to achieve Great Futures. Through 25 Clubs in 10 metro counties, trained and professional staff serve more than 3,300 youth (ages 6-18) daily through programs that foster academic success, healthy lifestyles and character and leadership development. BGCMA also oversees Camp Kiwanis, a 160-acre outdoor residence camp. While the cost to effectively serve those who need us most is approximately $5,700 per member, families are asked to pay between $60 and $135 per child each year based on income; and no child is turned away due to inability to pay. For more information, please visit www.bgcma.org.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta