Hannah Watlington, a sophomore at DeKalb School of the Arts, first set foot in the Samuel L. Jones Club at age 8 and she’s been attending the Club nearly every day since!
At school Hannah is active in dance, drama, and media arts. When not at the Club after school, she dances with Atlanta Ballet. Her school is very rigorous, but it has taught her to manage her time and balance working hard in school during the day and dancing at night.
As a leader in the Club, Hannah is president of the Tech Club and a member of Keystone where she has given back to her community through volunteering at an animal shelter and helping with neighborhood park clean-up. In the summer, she has also attended Camp Kiwanis, a year-round residence camp to the youth served by Boys & Girls Clubs, where she enjoyed kayaking and tubing in the river.
Hannah loves that the Club is like one big family. Club staff member Ms. Shenessia has been there as long as Hannah has and has been a constant source of support and encouragement. Through this relationship, Hannah gained the confidence to enter her art into a national Boys & Girls Clubs competition.
Surprised to be chosen to participate in Youth of the Year as a sophomore, Hannah says she’s a little nervous but believes her experience performing on stage will help. As her Club’s Youth of the Year, Hannah looks forward to using her leadership skills to encourage younger kids to get involved in performing arts. “The arts bring joy and a way for people to express themselves and come together. The arts will save the world!” she says.
Hannah wants to go to college and has set her sights high! She has a few more years to decide, but University of South Carolina, University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, and Emory are all on her radar. Hannah is still deciding what she wants to do, but she is interested in exploring being a veterinarian or physical therapist. No matter what, she wants to keep dancing!