Congratulations to Nola Payton of the General Heiser Club for her win of the 2019 Greater Washington Youth of the Year title! BGCGW hosted its Regional Youth of the Year (YOY) competition on February 23 in the Black Box Theatre @THEARC. Candidates were interviewed by a panel of judges and delivered their speeches to family, friends, and BGCGW staff. “From the first interview of the day to the announcement of the 2019 Great Washington YOY, our six candidates were poised, professional and prepared,” said Theressa Green, Director of Programs for Greater Washington, who oversees BGCGW’s YOY program.

Nola was ecstatic and shocked to hear her name announced as this year’s winner. “I couldn’t believe all my hard work finally paid off.” Nola has been a proud and engaged member at the General Heiser Club for seven years. Although she has been previously encouraged to compete for the YOY title, she finally felt ready her senior year. Nola appreciates the confidence she gained in her public speaking and interview skills and acknowledges how these tools will help her succeed in the future. She was also happy for the many opportunities to receive feedback, as she believes there is always room for growth. Nola is excited to compete for the state title and would like to encourage any future YOY competitors to “stay genuine and remain true to yourself.”

Since September, the BGCGW YOY competitors attended workshops designed to enhance their interview skills, developed confidence in their public speaking, and finalized their speeches presented at the culminating regional event. Competing were:

Nola P. –  General Heiser Branch
Bryan C. – Hylton Branch
Sierra D. – Martin K. Alloy Club
Danielle F.  – Richard England Clubhouse
Asha H. – Jellef Community Center
Gary L. – FBR Branch @THEARC

YOY has been Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s premier recognition program, celebrating the extraordinary achievements of Club members. The journey to being named National YOY begins locally with the BGCGW competition and progresses to the state, regional and national levels. To achieve the title of YOY on any level, Club members must embody the values of leadership and service; academic excellence; and healthy lifestyles.

BGCGW is proud of all our 2019 YOY Ambassadors and would like to thank our volunteers, staff, and community members for making this program a continued success.