panditIt has been said that recognition is the greatest motivator. At Boys & Girls Clubs, our Formula for Impact includes recognition as one of the five key elements for positive youth development.
In this month’s newsletter you’ll find examples of the many activities that celebrate accomplishments of our members, staff and supporters, from the Honorable Muriel Bowser, Mayor of the District of Columbia, to our 2016 Youth of the Year, Faith Moore.
Recently if you found yourself approaching the Third Street Tunnel in DC you came face to face with an amazing billboard featuring BGCA’s five National Youth of the Year finalists. Each year there is a wonderful dinner introducing these young people prior to selection of the winner. Last year there was great excitement at the presence of national spokesperson and Club kid, Denzel Washington, who so effectively communicates the many steps in the journey and ways the Clubs help create a path.
Youth of the Year is the highest recognition a Club member can achieve, and it is a tremendous effort for each applicant. It is also a labor of love for families, staff and volunteers who work with them to create a platform, craft a speech, practice delivering it in front of peers, loved ones and strangers. Winners receive scholarship dollars (up to 100K for the national winner and a car!) but the confidence and sense of accomplishment gained by participation are priceless.
How can you become part of it?
1.  Come to a Club! Learn how to recognize the achievements of our youth: positive adult connections make the difference for kids and teens.
2.  Sponsor or provide in-kind incentives for Club members or staff (small gift cards, supplies, healthy snacks). If you’re unable to connect directly with a member, help reward our amazing staff who do so on a daily basis.
3.  Become a member of the BGCGW Youth of the Year prep team. Help an entrant complete his/her application and essay; teach them how to put it across! Be that vital step on the path to building a great future.
Thank you as always for what you do for kids and teens. Wishing you a healthy and happy Spring!