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Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis names Youth Of The Year winner

(BOYS & GIRLS CLUB NEWS RELEASE) – Jyahyara Lawson has overcome obstacles since her cancer diagnosis at age 8 and her ADHD diagnosis in elementary sch...
2-6-20 – Boys & Girls Club JudgesCandidates 2

(BOYS & GIRLS CLUB NEWS RELEASE) – Jyahyara Lawson hasovercome obstacles since her cancer diagnosis at age 8 and her ADHD diagnosisin elementary school. “Kindnessin words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindnessin giving creates love” is her moto in school and life.

Youth of the Year is the highest award available in theBoys & Girls Clubs organization. Five exemplary members of the Boys& Girls Clubs ofGreater Memphis competed in interviews on February 5th, 2020 in thecategories of: My Club Experience, What Matters to Me,and Overcoming Obstacles. Community leaders representing branches of industry and philanthropy evaluated the students basedon: the candidates’ three writtenessays, 9 minute interview session with the judges, public speaking, andoverall application quality. This year’s presenting sponsor of the eventis HigherVisibility, a leading digital marketing firm in the Memphis area.

Jyahyara is a senior at Kingsbury High School where she is a member of the school’s newspaperstaff and varsity track team. She has been a member of Ira Samelson Boys &Girls Club for three years. She is a member of the Torch Club and leader withinthe Notes for Notes Music Studiowithin the Samelson Club.

Whenasked to share about her Club Experience, “When I arrived to the Club I struggled with anxiety in socialsituations and a huge fear of engaging with others. However, the staff madesure I was safe and comfortable. From the moment I entered the club staffgreeted me with excitement. I felt their energy and it made me excited about beinga part of the club.”

Before coming tothe club, Jyahyara’s internal struggles caused anxiety in social situations.She has an incredible fear of engaging with others. However, she creditsparticipating in Boys & Girls Clubs programming for helping her connectwith her feelings and become courageous enough to come out of her shell. At avery young age she was diagnosed with cancer but faith, hard work and a steadysupport system has enabled her to beat the odds and live a full, healthy andactive life. She plans to attend South West College after high school andbecoming a licensed cosmetologist.

The purpose of the Boys & Girls Clubs Youth of theYear Contest is to select a student who exemplifies the mission of theorganization and to serve as a spokesperson. Each club representative received agift and recognition certificate.

Thank you to this year’s community partners that servedas judges for the evening:

Ericka Milford HigherVisibility
Kaitlyn McKay HigherVisibility
Mohamed Bah HigherVisibility
Victoria Jackson HigherVisibility
Scott Calk Black Tie Moving
Zach Pretzer Methodist Healthcare Foundation
Bianca Sweeten Comprehensive Medical Associates
Egon Rinderer Tanium
Lakethen Mason The Winsum Agency

2020 Youth of the Year Contestants:

  • Ashley Alvarez a freshman at White Station High School, representing the Sycamore View Club
  • Camille Wilson a sophomore at Bluff City High School, representing the Bernal E. Smith Sr. Club
  • Jyahyara Lawson a senior at Kingsbury High School, representing the Ira Samelson Jr. Club
  • Patricia Noel, a senior at Oakhaven High School, representing the Oakhaven Club
  • LaStacia Cloyd, a senior at Central High School, representing the John Dustin Buckman Club

Boys& Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis mission isto enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach theirfull potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. The Memphis Clubsserve more than 4,900 members between the ages of 6 and 18 each year byproviding the fun experiences and critical guidance kids need to build brightfutures. The Boys & Girls Clubs, Great Futures Start Here: visit bgcm.org to learnmore and follow us on https://twitter.com/BGCMemphis or https://www.facebook.com/boysandgirlsclubmemphis/