ATLANTA – March 1, 2016 – Brian Ball of Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta was recently named the 2015/2016 Youth of the Year for Georgia. Competing with more than 25 teens from Boys & Girls Clubs across the state, Brian was chosen for his strong leadership and unwavering efforts to make a difference in his school, Club, and community. The prestigious Youth of the Year award is Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s highest honor, recognizing teens from Clubs across the country who are working hard, investing in themselves, and demonstrating leadership.
During the two-day competition, hundreds of attendees heard from these young leaders about where they started, how their Clubs helped shape who they are today, and what big dreams they have for the future. “My Boys & Girls Club has done so much for me and I am honored to represent the organization,” said Brian Ball. “I believe my purpose in life is to connect, inspire, and awaken my generation to the world around us. If we build each other up, we will all reach new heights.”
Leading up to the announcement of Youth of the Year, candidates participated in interview sessions, delivered speeches, drafted essays, and submitted dozens of letters of recommendation. They also took in the sights of Atlanta with a tour of the Capitol, CNN Center, and College Football Hall of Fame. Key leaders including Bobby Cagle, Director of the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services, and First Lady Sandra Deal honored the teens with appearances and remarks.
“I’m so proud of Brian and all that he stands for and has achieved,” 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 Brian and our other young leaders are giving back and making the world a better place.”
As Youth of the Year for Georgia, Brian was awarded a $5,000 college scholarship. Top supporters including Disney, Toyota, University of Phoenix, and the Taco Bell Foundation help provide funds to support these scholarships and the overall program.
In the summer of 2016, Brian will represent Georgia as Youth of the Year at the Southeast competition. If he takes top prize there, he will continue to the national competition in the fall where he will have a chance to meet the President of the United States and win a renewable scholarship totaling $100,000.
BGCMA serves more than 3,500 kids and teens each year. The Youth of the Year competition is part of a broader year-round program that helps youth develop character and leadership skills. 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. For more information on how you can become involved in shaping great futures, visit our Get Involved section.
As a friend and supporter of BGCMA, we would love for you to join us for an evening of spoken word, creative writing, and song and dance. Click here to register for the Power of Words event on April 26.
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 3,500 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 more than $5,700 per member, BGCMA asks families to pay only a $50 annual membership fee and no child is turned away due to inability to pay. For more information, please visit www.bgcma.org.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 100 years, BGCA (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, more than 4,100 Clubs serve nearly 4 million young people annually through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun, friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Priority programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 54 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at Facebook and Twitter.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta
404-527-0948 extension 1047