Meet these six State Youth of the Year winners, who with the support of their Boys & Girls Club, are excelling in school and in life.
Military families face unique challenges every day. When duty stations change, parents and children must move to a new military installation, leaving friends behind. Often, they worry about losing loved ones who are involved in combat and are separated from parents for long periods of time.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide provide stability for military families. Whether providing homework assistance, engaging programs or a friendly face, caring adults welcome kids and teens into their Youth Center after school.
Rebekah HarwellBoys & Girls Club of Iwakuni / MCAS Iwakuni Teen CenterIwakuni, Japan(Representing Youth Centers in Asia)
Rebekah, an eight-year member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Iwakuni, Japan, is an accomplished athlete, and serves as a leader on her high school basketball team. She also volunteers with her church, and participates on the yearbook committee and the news broadcasting program at her high school. Rebekah has led projects that provide aid to the victims of the recent earthquake in the Honshu area of Japan. After graduating from high school, Rebekah plans to attend college and pursue a career in education.
“The Club has been a place where I have been able to truly grow as an individual, free to be myself.”
RioShauné HarrisVogelweh Youth Activities ProgramsVogelweh, Germany(Representing Youth Centers in Europe)
At age 17, RioShauné Harris has been a member of the Vogelweh Youth Activities Programs in Germany for 2 1/2 years. RioShauné has participated in Keystone teen leadership club and has served as a mentor and a tutor at the Vogelweh Teen Center. She will be attending Baylor University majoring in Electrical Engineering.
“This Club has been like a refuge to me…a place I can go and be surrounded by people who I can relate to- other military children...they have become my second family.”
Jawan HowzeJoint Base Anacostia / Bolling Youth Center Washington, D.C.
A seven-year Club member, Jawan is active in several programs and serves as a mentor to younger Center members. He also assists the Center’s sixth grade basketball team with its training and practices. Additionally, he serves as a liaison between the pre-teen members and Center staff.
At North Point High School, Jawan maintains a 3.48 grade point average, and is active in the Air Force Junior ROTC program where he has exemplified stellar leadership skills. Jawan’s hopes for the future include earning a scholarship to a Division One college or university.
LaChardonnay JohnsonColumbus Air Force Base Youth CenterColumbus, Miss.
An active Club member, LaChardonnay is a former president of the Keystone Club, a leadership and community service group for teens, homework tutor and snack counter aide. Additionally, she participates in several base community activities including the annual Air Show and Santa’s Breakfast. LaChardonnay serves as president of the Columbus Air Force Base 4-H program and is a peer mentor is the Drug Education for Youth program. Last year, LaChardonnay volunteered nearly 900 hours of community service.
A twelve-year member of the Youth Center, LaChardonnay has a 3.34 grade point average at Caledonia High School where she is active in the Beta Club, National Honor Society, Varsity Band and serves as the vice president of the Future Career Community Leaders of America. She plans to Mississippi State University and major in elementary education.
Kai HolnesJoint Base Charleston Air Force Base Youth ProgramsCharleston, S.C.
An eight-year Youth Center member, Kai has been a leader in Torch Clubs, small-group leadership and service clubs for youth ages 11 to 13; and served as vice president of the Keystone Club, a leadership and community service group for teens. As a member of these groups, she has volunteered a the San Antonio State Hospital, helped at base-wide Easter Egg hunts, Month of the Military Child Festivals and represents the Youth Center on the Base Teen Council Board.
Outside of the Youth Center, Kia works with her robotics team First Team 342 to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics education throughout the community and has created educational games for elementary school students. At Fort Dorchester High School, Kai is a member of the Model United Nations team, Patriot Winter Guard team, vice president of the Artists for Unity Club, a club dedicated to stopping human trafficking and a peer tutor. Kai plans to graduate in the top 10 percent of her class and hopes to become an engineer and create technology that will improve the world.
Brian Rico Jr.Minot AFB Youth Activities CenterMinot AFB, N.D.
Brian recently completed his freshman year of high school, where he is commander of his JROTC unit and a member of the color guard/drill team. The 15-year-old represents Minot Air Force Base as a member of the Air Force Teen Council, which tackles topics such as childhood obesity and teen outreach.
Brian spends many hours volunteering for the Youth Employment Skills program in his Club, Adopt-A-Highway and the Keystone teen leadership club. He is captain of his high school bowling team and a well-regarded two-miler on the track team. He plans to attend the University of New Mexico to study mechanical engineering and then join the U.S. Air Force.
Your browser does not support iframes.
The Official Site of Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
© Boys & Girls Clubs of America. All Rights Reserved. The URL GreatFutures.org is generously donated by Vision Link.