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LOCAL TEEN NAMED MARYLAND YOUTH OF THE YEAR BY BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF AMERICA

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Released 13 March 2009

LOCAL TEEN NAMED MARYLAND YOUTH OF THE YEAR

BY BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF AMERICA

 

Youth of 
the year

Annapolis, MD, March 10,2009- Today Governor Martin O'Malley announced Naa Adei Mante, a member of Fort Meade Youth Services Boys & Girls Club, as winner of the 2009 Boys & Girls Clubs of America Youth of the Year award for the state of Maryland .  In addition to winning this prestigious title, Mante also will receive a $1,000 scholarship from the Reader's Digest Foundation.  She is among hundreds of Youth of the Year winners across the country recognized by Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) for her sound character, leadership skills and willingness to give back to the community.

 

Being named Youth of the Year is the highest honor a Boys & Girls Club member can receive. The title recognizes outstanding contributions to a member's family, school, community and Boys & Girls Club, as well as personal challenges and obstacles overcome.  This program was founded more than 60 years ago through the generosity of the Reader's Digest Foundation.

"The Reader's Digest Foundation has been the proud sponsor of the Youth of the Year program since 1947," said Susan Fraysse Russ, executive director, Reader's Digest Foundation.  "For over 60 years, we have had the great honor of saluting amazing teens, like Naa Adei Mante, for their dedication to their families, the Club,  their community, and their academic and career goals."

 

When her mother decided to enlist in the Army Reserves in 2004, the decision caused a great deal of fear in Mante and created concerns regarding how she would spend her time after the school day ended. Mante was still dealing with the stress of transitioning from elementary to middle school and was very apprehensive about meeting new people and interacting with them. However, once her mother enrolled Mante in the Children and Youth Services Boys & Girls Club at Fort Meade, her outlook began to change. "The welcoming youth and staff at the Club helped me to overcome my fears," states Mante.  "Because of the amiability of the CYSS family, I became comfortable with myself. My membership with the Club CYSS program established the foundation for my character, which I am steadily building upon today."

 

Mante is involved in several volunteer initiatives in school, at the club and in her church; including serving as the vice president of the Keystone Club, a community service and leadership club for teens; serving as a computer lab facilitator and as the class of 2011 school president. An A student at Meade Senior High School, Mante plans to pursue a career in law after attending Stanford University.

 

Naa and all Youth of the Year nominees are living proof that Boys & Girls Clubs across the country are fulfilling their mission of inspiring and enabling young people," said Roxanne Spillett, president, BGCA.  "We are most appreciative to the Reader's Digest Foundation for their long-time support of our Youth of the Year program and for helping Club members attain their goals."

 

This summer, Mante will compete against other youth from states located in BGCA's Northeast Region.  If named regional winner, she will be awarded a $10,000 college scholarship and advance to the national competition in Washington, D.C.  The National Youth of the Year receives an additional $15,000 college scholarship and will be installed by President Barack Obama during a ceremony in the Oval Office.

            As the founding sponsor of the Youth of the Year program, the Reader's Digest Foundation has given nearly $8 million towards BGCA and 62 teens have been selected as the National Youth of the Year.  For more information about the Youth of the Year program, visit www.bgca.org

 

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America

For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (www.bgca.org) has been changing and saving young lives, providing hope and opportunity for kids who need them most.  Today, some 4,300 Clubs serve 4.8 million young people through Club membership and community outreach.  Known as The Positive Place for Kids, Boys & Girls Clubs can be found all across the country and on U.S. military bases throughout the world.  Clubs provide young people 6-18 years old with guidance-oriented character development programs conducted by trained, professional staff.  In communities large and small, Clubs positively impact lives and help young people reach their full potential as productive, caring citizens.  Key Boys & Girls Club programs emphasize leadership development; education and career exploration; community service; financial literacy; health and life skills; the arts; sports, fitness and recreation; and family outreach. In a recent Harris Survey of Club alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives.

National headquarters are located in Atlanta.

 

Contact:
Lida Payne, Fort Meade Youth Services, 301.677.1437, lida.payne@us.army.mil


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