Victor O. from JB MDL-Ft Dix Youth Program receives top honor and $20,000 college scholarship.
ATLANTA, August 5, 2021 – Selected among outstanding regional finalists from Boys & Girls Clubs of America-affiliated military Youth Centers across the country and overseas, 18-year-old Victor O., of JB MDL-Ft Dix Youth Program has been named the 2021 National Military Youth of the Year by Boys & Girls Clubs of America. At the virtual National Military Youth of the Year Celebration event, supported by Toyota and Mondelez International, Victor was rewarded a $20,000 college scholarship to support his academic endeavors, including plans to pursue a career in corporate law. This is in addition to the $22,500 in college scholarships already awarded to Victor at the state and regional levels of the Military Youth of the Year Program.
Victor first joined the Youth Center looking for positive ways to spend his time and to fuel his passions. With his mom working as a veteran civilian on the military installation, he quickly learning the transient nature of friendships in the military, having one friend after another move away when their families were stationed elsewhere.
"Though I first came to the Youth Center in search of an outlet, somewhere to convert my energy toward doing something productive, I discovered that the Youth Center experience brought me so much more than that,” Victor said. “I found several adult role models and discovered a passion for volunteering, leading me to become involved in community projects through leaderships programs at the Youth Center.”
Victor also serves a youth mental health advocate, especially interested in addressing the gaps created by the pandemic, as kids and teens struggle with online learning and lack of social connection. He advocates to empower all youth to prioritize their mental well-being, as he understands first-hand the power of a positive mentor, role model or group of people to support you.
Military Youth of the Year is a component of Boys & Girls Clubs of America's National Youth of the Year recognition program for Club members. On September 21, Victor will join five other finalists from civilian Boys & Girls Clubs to vie for the National Youth of the Year honor and scholarship. A panel of judges individually interview each candidate and select the national winner based on scholastic achievement, community service and leadership ability. The National Youth of the Year will receive an additional scholarship of $50,000 and a brand-new Toyota Corolla.
Founded in 1947 as Boys & Girls Clubs of America's premier youth recognition program, Youth of the Year recognizes outstanding contributions to a member's family, school, community and Boys & Girls Club/Youth Center. Toyota and Mondelez International are proud sponsors of the Youth of the Year recognition program.
For more information about the Youth of the Year program, visit www.youthoftheyear.org.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For 160 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA.org) has provided a safe place for kids and teens to learn and grow. Clubs offer caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Boys & Girls Clubs programming promotes academic success, good character and leadership, and healthy lifestyles. More than 4,700 Clubs serve over 4.3 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more about Boys & Girls Clubs of America on Facebook and Twitter.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America