Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta Announces 2017/2018 Youth of the Year Local Winners

Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta Announces 2017/2018 Youth of the Year Local Winners
October 13, 2017 BGCMA

Teens Recognized for Outstanding Leadership in School, Club, and Community

ATLANTA, GA (Oct. 11, 2017) – Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta (BGCMA) is proud to announce its 2017-2018 Youth of the Year winners from local Clubs in and around the city. 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.

This year, winners from more than 15 Boys & Girls Club locations will be honored at the annual Youth of the Year Fundraising Gala on Friday, November 10, 7pm – 9pm, at Loews Hotel Atlanta’s Ellington Ballroom Reception Hall. The honorees will compete for the title of Metro Atlanta Youth of the Year.

“We’re so excited about these teens’ accomplishments,” said Missy Dugan, President & CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta. “Despite the steep hurdles many of them are facing, they continue to develop into strong 21st century leaders who are making positive choices that are impacting not only their own lives, but the lives of their peers, and the community around them. With help from the metro Atlanta community, we can keep them on track.”

This year’s theme, The Time Is Now, underscores the urgent need to invest in teens – the decision-makers and workforce of tomorrow. According to, 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.

More than 600 attendees – including local politicians, business leaders, and advocates – are expected to attend this year’s Youth of the Year celebration. The event focuses on how the following teens are serving as young leaders and gives attendees a glimpse into where they started, how their Clubs helped shape who they are today, and their plans for the future. At the end of the night, the most prestigious honor – Youth of the Year – will be presented to one deserving teen.

Congratulations to the following local winners:

  • Aliah Beasley, Newnan/Coweta Boys & Girls Club
  • Jequilla Boyce, East DeKalb Boys & Girls Club
  • Octavious Burris, James T. Anderson Boys & Girls Club
  • Lyric Carter, Michael A. Grant Boys & Girls Club
  • Martinis Character, W.W. Woolfolk/John H. Harland Boys & Girls Club
  • Kani Davis, Paulding County Boys & Girls Club
  • Ibrahima Gueye, Joseph B. Whitehead Boys & Girls Club
  • Kai Hartman, Douglas County Boys & Girls Club
  • Kimberly Heard, A.R. “Gus” Barksdale Boys & Girls Club
  • Johnathan Holloway, Warren Boys & Girls Club
  • Elijah Howard, Malon D. Mimms Boys & Girls Club
  • Kennyce Howard, Brookhaven Boys & Girls Club
  • Karissa Jackson, Lawrenceville Boys & Girls Club
  • Cory Seals, Samuel L. Jones Boys & Girls Club
  • Stephanie Soetan, A. Worley Brown Boys & Girls Club
  • Johnathan Spoon, Carroll County Boys & Girls Club
  • Makiyah Waller, Jesse Draper Boys & Girls Club
  • Sincere Young, Camp Kiwanis Boys & Girls Club

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 and how to purchase a table, visit Follow the candidates’ journey on and using the hashtags #YOY2017 and #TheTimeIsNow. For more information on how you can become involved in shaping great futures, visit

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

Media Contact:
Adrienne Leon
Marketing Manager
Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta
Mobile: 404-295-6528