2018-19 Southeast Youth of the Year
Club/Organization: Boys & Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains, Tennessee
Member Since: 2006
College/University: University of Tennessee
Career Goal: Occupational Therapy
Hannah began attending the Club at the age of 6 when her mom was hired as an art teacher. She credits the Club for providing her with an extended family that has always been there for life’s ups and downs. After losing her childhood home to the 2016 Tennessee wildfires, for example, the Club helped Hannah and her family find a place to stay.
The Club shaped Hannah into the leader she is today. With the help of fellow Club youth and inspired by her younger sister who has special needs, Hannah organized “One Special Night,” a prom for students with disabilities. After losing the dresses she’d collected for the prom in the house fire, Hannah shared her story through a local news station and received over 500 dress donations from around the country.
Hannah’s vision is to provide for America’s youth with resources that will educate them about accepting those who are different, and thereby enable youth with special needs to always feel welcome at the Club and all environments. Hannah is a freshman at the University of Tennessee where she studies occupational therapy.