Denzell Perry2012-13 Pacific Region Youth of the YearWatts/Willowbrook Boys & Girls ClubLos Angeles
ATLANTA, July 16, 2012 – Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) has named Denzell Perry, 18, an 11-year member of Watts/Willowbrook Boys & Girls Club in Los Angeles, the 2012-13 Pacific Region Youth of the Year. He receives a total of $11,000 in college scholarships from the Youth of the Year program’s national sponsor Tupperware Brands Corporation. Perry was chosen from 10 candidates within BGCA’s Pacific region and will compete for the national title in Washington, D.C., in September.
Perry and his fellow Youth of the Year candidates were honored at BGCA’s annual Pacific Region Youth of the Year Celebration dinner, held in Newport Beach, Calif., last Thursday evening. The celebration sponsors for the dinner were Taco Bell and Toyota, with ESPN analyst Desmond Howard serving as emcee. Prior to the event, the finalists were treated to a three-day experience in Orange County, which included media training with KTLA anchor Michaela Pereira at Index Funds Adivsors’ studio in Irvine and a day at Disneyland. Each finalist received a $1,000 college scholarship from Tupperware and $400 in gift cards from jcpenney. As the regional winner, Perry also received an additional $500 jcpenney gift card to help prepare his 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.
Despite growing up with a speech impediment and without a positive male role model, Perry overcame these challenges. And with the help of his Boys & Girls Club, he’s positioned himself for a great future.
At his Boys & Girls Club, Perry has served as Keystone Club president, and a member of the Junior Staff program. When the Club wanted to promote its College Access Preparation program, he created a website geared toward his peers. Perry has gained critical life skills by taking advantage of offerings like the Money Matters financial literacy program, and SMART Moves, a program to help young people make good choices.
He’s been a standout in high school, too. He was elected class president, belonged to the Black Student Union, and was a student member on the board of education. Perry graduated from high school this spring. He plans to attend the University of California, Berkeley, and major in education and pre-law.
As the Pacific Region Youth of the Year, Perry 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, he 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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