2014 National Youth of the Year
2014 Southeast Youth of the Year
Length of Membership: 11 years
College/University: University of South Florida
Major: Information Technology
Career Aspiration: IT
“I am a leader because I am self-aware of the great qualities that I possess a well as the struggles I’ve overcome. I inspire by using those qualities and personal experiences to help others get through their own personal challenges and lead successful, fulfilling lives.”
The oldest child in a single-parent family, Maryah grew up faster than most. With her mother frequently working, Maryah cared for her younger siblings, preparing meals, helping with schoolwork, and generally making sure they stayed out of trouble. When she needed a place to just be a kid, she went to the Joe R. Lee Branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida.
Eleven years as a Club member helped Maryah become a leader with an unwavering focus on the future. She was president of her Keystone Club and an active participant in the Junior Staff, SMART Girls, and Torch Club programs. As a volunteer coordinator for the Club, Maryah discovered her passion for community service. She volunteered at the local Ronald McDonald house, visited seniors at a nursing home, and oversaw a community beautification project.
A driven student, Maryah was president of her high school’s National Honor Society. She also served as secretary of her senior class, belonged to the French Honor Society, and was captain of both the track and field and weightlifting teams. She went on to attend the University of South Florida in Tampa.