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 the community. These teens are giving back and devoting themselves to their Club, school, family, and community; they are truly role models. They have their sights set on a great future and are eager to share their voices!
The Youth of the Year competition is open to all Boys & Girls Club members age 14-18. Each Club honors one young man or woman every month and then chooses one outstanding member to represent their Club at the annual Youth of the Year Fundraising Gala. As we're unable to gather together this year, our teens will represent their Clubs as part of the 2020 Youth of the Year Experience, a Livestream event to celebrate our incredible members and raise funds to continue our work across Metro Atlanta. Over the course of eight weeks, these teens will participate in intensive virtual programming to prepare them for the competition and to build skills they will use for a lifetime. With help from dedicated mentors, teens will work to fine tune skills related to interviewing, networking, writing, and public speaking. They'll even get to participate in Camera Readiness training with Atlanta's own Jovita Moore!
During the event, you will hear speeches from our kids sharing their voices. Teens will talk about their Club experience, community involvement, how your support has helped them succeed, and what dreams they have for the future. We will also present our organization's most prestigious honor - 2020/2021 Youth of the Year - to one deserving teen.
Meet Kimberly Heard: 2019/2020 BGCMA Youth of the Year
Elevating Youth Voice
At just 16 years old, Kimberly Heard has garnered countless accolades. She's a bilingual honor student, a self-taught musician, and on top of that has a passion for giving back. Looking back, it's hard to imagine there was ever a time when this accomplished teen struggled with feelings of unworthiness and self-doubt. "I buried myself underneath my layers of hated dark skin and kinky roots," recalled Kimberly.
After enrolling in the Boys & Girls Club in 9th grade, Kimberly began to find her footing. A staff member welcomed Kimberly to the Club with open arms and encouraged her to explore poetry to express her emotions. She began to find her voice.
Building up the courage to present her poems on stage, Kimberly remembers the experience as a defining moment that would forever change her life.
Her confidence continues to evolve and she continues to speak out. Today, she serves as 2019/2020 Youth of the Year and Georgia Youth of the Year, and inspires other teens to recognize the power of their voice. She's learned to love herself from the inside out and encourages others to follow her lead.
Help us spread the word and reach our fundraising goal!
Create an individual fundraising page that will allow you to share your story, and why you choose to support the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta. The funds you raise will support programming like Youth of the Year and help us do whatever it takes to build Great Futures!