by Maya Ollie, Marketing & Communication Intern
The Youth of the Year program has been a staple of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America since 1947. The program recognizes outstanding young people for service to their club and community, academic performance and contributions to their family. The honor also recognizes youth who have overcome odds and demonstrated exceptional character and accomplishments. The Youth of the Year recognition includes more than $60,000 in college scholarships from Tupperware Brands Corporation and The Rick and Susan Goings Foundation.
This years’ winner is Wichita, Kansas native Kiana Knolland! Kiana is attending school right here in our backyard at Howard University. We got the chance to sit down and chat with Kiana about what it means to her to be Youth of the Year and adjusting to life in DC.
BGCGW: How excited are you to have won Youth of the Year?
Kiana: I am super excited and I feel super blessed to represent an organization that has had such a profound impact on my life! I feel very gracious and honored to represent such an amazing organization. I’m super pumped!
BGCGW: So now you’re a freshman at Howard, what has that been like? And how excited are you to be in Washington DC?
Kiana: I am from Kansas so moving all the way to DC has been very different. But I love the east coast and I love everyone’s energy! I love being here because I feel like I am in the political arena. I want to be a federal prosecutor and DC feels like the perfect place to pursue my legal career.
BGCGW: What do you think being Youth of the Year will mean particularly to your college career?
Kiana: Being Youth of the Year gives me the opportunity to represent a profound organization. I started off at the Boys and Girls Club at the age of five and now I’m in college and the Boys and Girls Club still has a tremendous impact on my life. Also, when I become a prosecutor I can know that the Boys and Girls Club has been with me every step of the way. It does not matter what age I am or career I choose the Boys and Girls Club will always play a role in my life.
There is no question that Kiana is passionate and excited to get involved with the BGCGW! When asked if she would be working with the BGCGW her response was, “Of course! There is no doubt about it!”
We are very excited and fortunate to have access to this year’s Youth of the Year for the next four years. We look forward to working with you too Kiana, congratulations and welcome to DC!