Carter and her fellow Youth of the Year candidates were honored at BGCA’s Annual Northeast Region Youth of the Year Celebration held at the New York Athletic Club in Central Park last evening. Prior to the event, the finalists were treated to a two-day experience in New York City, which included viewing the Tony Award winning Broadway play, Memphis; a tour of the MLB Network Studios (N.J.); and a shopping spree at the Manhattan Mall jcpenney store. Each finalist received a $1,000 college scholarship from Tupperware and $400 in gift cards from jcpenney. As the regional winner, Carter also received a $9,000 award from The John Miller Scholarship Fund and an additional $500 jcpenney gift card to help prepare her wardrobe for the National Youth of the Year competition.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Youth of the Year recognition is the highest honor a Club member can achieve. The Youth of the Year program, founded in 1947, celebrates youth who have overcome enormous odds and demonstrated exceptional character and accomplishments. These deserving young people are recognized for service to their Club and community, academic performance and contributions to their family.
Carter has been faced with numerous obstacles, including growing up in foster care. She and her siblings have lived with several different families over the years, but there has always been one constant in Carter’s life – her Boys & Girls Club.
During 11 years of Club membership, Carter has given back in many ways. She has spent countless hours volunteering in the dance program DiverCity. She teaches younger members dance steps and collaborates with the instructor on choreography for the older members. Carter knows she is helping these other young people develop more than their dance moves – she is also showing them how to adopt active, healthy lifestyles. To develop her personal leadership capabilities, Carter joined the Keystone Club. She is also a proud alumna of a drug and alcohol resistance course known as Youth Empowerment Program.
At school, Carter has completed advanced placement classes in criminal justice, taking her one step closer to her career goal – she has always known that she wanted to be an officer of the New York Police Department. She also plans to attain a four-year college degree in criminal justice, so that she can one day be a candidate for sergeant.
As the Northeast Region Youth of the Year, Carter and four other regional winners will have a chance to meet with President Barack H. Obama in the White House Oval Office in September. If named the 2012-13 National Youth of the Year, she will receive an additional $50,000 scholarship from The Rick and Susan Goings Foundation.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of AmericaFor more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, nearly 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs serve some 4 million children and teens through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native American lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. Clubs provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun and 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, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at bgca.org/facebook and bgca.org/twitter.
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