Xavier B. of USAG Fort Campbell CYS Services took home Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s 2023 National Military Youth of the Year title
ATLANTA (August 21, 2023) – Selected among five extraordinary regional finalists from Boys & Girls Clubs of America-affiliated military Youth Centers across the nation and around the world, Xavier B. of USAG Fort Campbell CYS Services took home Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s 2023 National Military Youth of the Year title, along with an additional scholarship to support his future plans.
Emceed by ESPN sports broadcaster, Lewis Johnson for the fifth year in a row, Xavier was honored during the annual National Military Youth of the Year program in Washington, D.C. Marking the 10th anniversary of the Military Youth of the Year honor, the evening also boasted a powerful speech by longtime supporter, Judge Glenda Hatchett who served as the Chief Presiding Judge of Fulton County before becoming a TV personality for her own court show.
“Our National Military Youth of the Year title is reserved for a young person who demonstrates outstanding commitment to character, leadership and service in and around their installations and Youth Center,” said Jim Clark, President & CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “Xavier is a shining example of the impact of our mission and the opportunities it ignites for young people in military communities, and we are so proud to recognize him with this honor.”
Xavier’s experience as a military-connected youth taught him that diversity, equity and inclusion are the foundation of his beliefs and personal growth.
“As a child growing up within the military-connected community, I have experienced things many other kids have not been afforded the opportunity to experience. While I moved often and changed schools mid-year, leaving behind friendships, I also got to form new friendships and learn about new cultures and build new communities. The resiliency that comes with growing up as a military-connected youth have allowed me to look at the aspects of my life that may not be so desirable and see the positives.”
“When my mom insisted that I visit the Youth Center, I was so nervous. I remember her telling me that this is where other military-connected teens go, so I decided to give it a chance. Immediately upon walking into the building, I was confronted with so much positive energy and excitement around me. The atmosphere was unlike any place I’ve ever been to.”
“The staff at my Youth Center have helped me tremendously in developing my social skills and my willingness to venture out of my comfort zone to try new things. And eventually they even convinced me that I possess the leadership qualities it takes to become the voice of my peers. I always listen to people with great attention and sincerity, but I never thought of this quality as something that could catapult me all the way to the National Military Youth of the Year stage. Having people who believe in you, encourage you and push you like the staff at my Youth Center have done for me…makes you realize anything is attainable!”
“My Youth Center has taught me that you may not always agree with someone, but we all have the right to use our voices. This has prompted me to become a more active member in my community and to show the world what us military-connected teens are capable of! The opportunities and skills that I have gained since becoming a member of my Youth Center have helped me realize how vital volunteerism and supporting your community is, and that we young people can be instrumental simply by lending a helping hand. Together, we can explore new solutions to our communities’ diverse needs.”
His journey embodies the essence of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America's commitment to fostering the potential of youth across military communities. Through participation in various programs, including Keystone Club, Torch Club, Gardening Club and Journalism Club, Xavier found his voice and his purpose. As Xavier carries the esteemed title of Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s 2023 National Military Youth of the Year, he stands as a beacon of inspiration and a guiding light for generations to come.
Prior to receiving this honor, Xavier earned $22,500 in college scholarships awarded through the state and regional levels of the Military Youth of the Year program. Being named the National Military Youth of the Year comes with an additional $20,000 for college, bringing his total scholarship amount to $42,500.
National Military Youth of the Year is a component of Boys & Girls Clubs of America's National Youth of the Year recognition program for Club and Youth Center members. On October 5, Xavier will join five finalists in New York for the National Youth of the Year celebration to contend for the National Youth of the Year title. If named the National Youth of the Year, Xavier will receive an additional $50,000 scholarship, a brand-new Toyota Corolla and the opportunity to serve as a spokesperson for Boys & Girls Clubs of America representing 3.3 million Club and Youth Center kids and teens.
For more than 75 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America has recognized young people in its Youth of the Year premiere youth leadership program, honoring extraordinary young people in their achievements in leadership, service, academic excellence and dedication to living a healthy lifestyle.
Toyota and Kohl’s are the Signature Sponsors of Youth of the Year, sharing a dedication to America’s youth. Toyota is committed to partnering with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to ensure local Boys & Girls Clubs and BGCA-affiliated Military Youth Centers provide life-enhancing opportunities for kids and teens to explore, develop and apply the essential skills they need to be successful in life and work; and Kohl’s is committed to partnering with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to ensure local Clubs and Youth Centers provide staff training and curriculum updates focused on trauma-informed care, building practices kids and teens will need to build great futures.
As the Lead Sponsor of Youth of the Year, Mondelēz International, will engage with local Clubs and Youth Centers year-round to help foster a new generation of leaders prepared to live in and lead a diverse global economy.
For more information about Youth of the Year, 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 5,200 Clubs serve over 3.3 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.
Director of Public Relations
Boys & Girls Clubs of America