Since 1947, Youth of the Year has been Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s premier recognition program, celebrating the extraordinary achievements of Club members. Each year, one exceptional young person from a Boys & Girls Club rises to the role of National Youth of the Year. The National Youth of the Year serves as both an exemplary ambassador for Boys & Girls Club youth and as a strong voice for all of our nation’s young people.
The journey to being named National Youth of the Year begins locally and progresses to state, regional and national levels, with an additional military phase for members of BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations.
Youth of the Year Facts
- Youth of the Year is BGCA’s premier recognition program, which for the past 70 years has brought awareness, hope and opportunity to our nation’s most deserving and awe-inspiring young people.
- The Youth of the Year title is a prestigious honor bestowed upon an exemplary young person in recognition of leadership, service, academic excellence and dedication to live a healthy lifestyle.
- The National Youth of the Year title is the highest honor a Boys & Girls Club member can receive.
- To become a Youth of the Year finalist, Club youth must advance through local, state and regional competitions.
- Six teens from across the country, including five regional winners and a military youth winner, will advance to Washington, D.C. in September 2017 for an once-in-a-lifetime experience at the National Youth of the Year Gala & Celebration Dinner.
- One young outstanding young person will be appointed as Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s national teen spokesperson – serving as a role-model, leader and advocate for the nearly 4 million Boys & Girls Club members and all of America’s young people.