EXCEPTIONAL TEEN WINS YOUTH OF THE YEAR HONOR FROM BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF NORTH GEORGIA
Coleman James to Now Vie for State Title and Scholarship
Jasper, GA, November 15 – Coleman James has been named the Youth of the Year by Boys & Girls Clubs of North Georgia. The Youth of the Year title is a prestigious honor bestowed upon an exemplary young person in recognition of leadership, service, academic excellence and dedication to live a healthy lifestyle. Now in its 71st year, the Youth of the Year program honors our nation’s most awe-inspiring young people on their path to great futures and encourages all kids to lead, succeed and inspire. Coleman will go on to vie for the Georgia Youth of the Year title and a $5,000 college scholarship from Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
Executive Director for the Boys & Girls Clubs of North Georgia, Michele Brackin shares, “It is a pleasure to have Coleman represent our Gilmer, Pickens and Fannin Clubs this year. He has proven a level of maturity seldom seen in one so young.”
This is the second time Coleman, who is a member of the Gilmer County Club, has been selected for this honor. This year, he competed in two rounds of interviews that also required completion of three essays and a speech. James has served in the Leader in Training (LIT) program for over two years. His training while in this program has resulted in a young man the Club and staff can depend on to assist in any of the five core program areas: character and leadership development; education and career development; healthy lifestyles and skills; the arts and fitness and recreation. He has served as a support mentor in the Passport to Manhood program, a targeted effort to engage young boys in discussions and activities that reinforce character, leadership and positive behavior. He is currently serving as Vice-President of the Keystone Club. Keystoning is the Boys & Girls Club Movement’s most dynamic teen program. It affords teens an opportunity to gain valuable leadership and service experience. They conduct activities in three areas: academic success, career exploration and community service. Aaron’s Inc. sponsors the Keystone Club program as part of a multi-year teen initiative; a strategic partnership between Aaron’s Inc. and BGCA provides Clubs with the tools and resources to create a positive place for teens as well as for kids.
His emphasis on personal health results from a lifelong struggle with Cystic Fibrosis and a recent pre-diabetic diagnosis. This focus resulted in his concern for the health of others and a goal of becoming a chef, specializing in healthy diets for youth who face similar health challenges. James’ desire to make a difference is obvious when he talks about growing his own foods and dairy through the Future Farmers of America program at Gilmer High School. His dedication to the High School Band and their award winning marching season is another source of pride for him. He also enjoys soccer and track when not participating in Club activities.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Youth of the Year recognition program is presented by Disney, who has supported the youth advocacy organization for more than 50 years, empowering young people to reach their full potential and providing youth with access to the tools they need to build the great futures they imagine. Toyota, the Signature Sponsor of Youth of the Year, is dedicated to inspiring the next generations of engineers, thinkers and leaders who will help drive the American economy.
If Coleman wins at the state competition, he will compete for the title of Southeast Region Youth of the Year and an additional $10,000 college scholarship, renewable for four years up to $40,000. Five regional winners will advance to Washington, D.C. in September 2018, to compete for the title of Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Youth of the Year. The National Youth of the Year will receive an additional scholarship of $25,000, renewable each year up to $100,000 and will have the opportunity to meet with the President of the United States in the White House.
For more information about the Youth of the Year program, visit www.youthoftheyear.org.
Boys & Girls Clubs of North Georgia includes locations in Gilmer, Pickens and now Fannin Counties. When Pickens County first opened doors to great opportunities for their community in 2005, Gilmer County soon followed in 2008. After 12 years of service, a Club in Fannin County welcomed its first Club Kids as well. Plans for expansion continue having served over 900 youth and their families.
For more than 150 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, 4,300 Clubs serve 4 million young people annually 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. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun, friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Priority programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 54 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at Facebookand Twitter.