Trei and her fellow Youth of the Year candidates were honored at BGCA’s Annual Southwest Great Futures Chairman’s Dinner held in Dallas this evening. With nearly 1,000 attendees, BGCA raised over $2 million to support the organization’s mission and to provide more than $25,000 in college scholarships to all eight of the regional finalists. The finalists were also treated to a three-day experience in Dallas from regional sponsor Dr Pepper Snapple Group and $400 in gift cards from jcpenney. As the regional winner, Trei also received 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.
An exceptional student and community member, Trei has overcome many obstacles in her young life. Her single mother has had to work very hard to support Trei and her three siblings. Trei has been a Club member for 10 years and now works as a junior staffer. She is known for going above and beyond to establish supportive relationships with younger Club members to help them build self-esteem.
She volunteers at a local community center, a soup kitchen and an organization that provides support for homeless families. At her high school, Trei has been a board member of Can We Talk, a group dedicated to helping at-risk youth achieve their full potential. She is also captain of the cheerleading squad and an editor of the yearbook.
Trei plans to attend the University of Arkansas and major in business. Inspired by her transformative Club experience, she also hopes to one day open her own center for youth in need.
When asked what the Boys & Girls Club means to her, Trei replied, “When I attended the Club as a member, I grew closer to the staff and began to think of the Club as my second family. The feeling was indescribable and I decided that it needed to be spread among others… Now, as a staff, I want the kids to feel as if they can depend on me for anything because I remember having those who did that for me and how it impacted my life and opened opportunities that I would not have otherwise.”
As the Southwest Region Youth of the Year, Trei 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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