Asha H-R.

Whether she was studying or figuring out her first job or relaxing with the latest episode of “Abbott Elementary,” college freshman Asha H-R had a unique cheering squad throughout her first year of college – every Boys & Girls Club kid in the country! Check out this note from the dorm room desk of Asha H-R.

My Life-Changing Year: A Note from Asha H-R
Posted 05/08/2023 by Asha H-R. in Alumni

It’s finals week of my freshman year of college and I’ve got to say – this has been the most whirlwind year of my life.  

Every college freshman has a lot on their plate (see: finals), but I’ve had a rather huge responsibility and a deep privilege this past year... 

In October of 2022 I became Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Youth of the Year and teen spokesperson. As a Boys & Girls Club kid, this is our highest honor. It’s our March Madness, our Super Bowl, our “Abbott Elementary” finale. (And I did it! It still blows my mind.) 

It means I get to represent the most important place in the world to me – my Boys & Girls Club – but also the millions of young people who Boys & Girls Clubs serve.  

On public stages and with the media, I get to talk about support systems that make a difference, mentors who shape great futures. Like my mentor Shawn – he made me believe anything is possible if I put my mind to it.   

It also means that every challenge I face, from balancing a healthy academic and social life to managing my first job, I know that my Club staff and kids across the nation are rooting for me. 

Check out my photo album of this past year! 

Asha's YOY year in pictures

This fall, I will pass the baton on to the next National Youth of the Year. I can’t wait to meet these rockstar teens from across the United States!  

Today's teens are incredible human beings and change-makers who are at the start of some truly great futures. If you get a chance to meet them, you’ll be able to say, “I knew them when...” (And I hope you’ll say the same about me! 😊) 

- Asha H-R 
College Freshman, Food Security & Education Advocate, Caffeine Lover & TV Connoisseur 
National Youth of the Year, Boys & Girls Clubs of America 

The National and Regional Youth of the Year represent the voices of more than 3.6 million Boys & Girls Club youth – inspiring their generation and those to come to achieve great futures. The Youth of the Year program wouldn’t be possible without sponsors like Kohl’s and Toyota who share our dedication to providing better tomorrows for young people. Learn more about Asha H-R. and the Youth of the Year program, which is available at Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide and on U.S. military installations globally. 

Join the Club 

Boys & Girls Clubs of America provides safe places, caring mentors and life-enhancing programs to millions of kids and teens annually. Join us on our mission of helping all young people reach their full potential:




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