2023-24 Pacific Military Youth of the Year
Club/Organization: Hill AFB Youth Program
Length of Membership: 12 years
Anticipated College: Johns Hopkins University
Career Interest: Biochemistry
Defining Characteristics: Bright, Dedicated
“Changing the future is difficult, but what is far more difficult is looking at the past knowing it could’ve been different.”
Every young person, like Mallory, deserves a safe, positive environment in which to learn and grow.
When Ahsha first entered the Kings Bay Youth Center, she had no idea what to expect and was certain she wouldn’t make any friends or pursue any opportunities there. But as soon as Ahsha met the Teen Program Lead and learned about all the public speaking and scholarship opportunities available through BGCA, she couldn’t contain her excitement.
In the Youth Center, Ahsha activated her passion for public speaking and was even selected to perform with spoken word artist Massiah Ramkissoon. “So here I am today, standing before you proud and purposeful,” Ahsha said alongside the artist. “When politicians sometimes forget to represent me, the Boys & Girls Clubs became my home, my residency. Been my safety net since the day we met. To the elders who helped us, I pay respect. From a baby step to taking a big leap. To find the diamond inside, thank you for making me dig deep.”
Ahsha says it was challenging for her to find public speaking opportunities in a small, rural community. But through the youth center, she’s participating in National Keystone, the Presidential Circe and the Military Teen Summit Steering Committee. She also now has leadership roles outside of the youth center on the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Future Business Leaders of America at her high school.
After participating in all these groups and committees, Ahsha realized two of the most important skills she would need for success were time management and the ability to interact with diverse audiences. She’s honed these skills in the youth center and says she’s excited to carry them into the next chapter of her life.