By Maggie Silverstein
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Cincinnati
Four outstanding teens competed for a $20,000 college Scholarship award and the title “2022 Youth of the Year” from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Cincinnati (BGCGC). Because of the Boys & Girls Club, these four individuals have developed leadership skills and the confidence to pursue their dreams and goals. The Youth of the Year competition features Club members who inspire their peers by their Club and community involvement, positive outlook, and leadership. The Youth of the Year winners are chosen based on their demonstration of service to Club, community and family; academic success; strong moral character; life goals; and public speaking ability. These high achievers personify the values and character of their home Club.
Ayani Weaver, a member of the Larry & Rhonda Sheakley Club, was awarded the 2022 Youth of the Year for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Cincinnati. While she’s been a member of the Club for over 7 years, she didn’t always enjoy coming as much as she does now. Early on Ayani would act up to try and get kicked out, but staff, and mentors never gave up on her. They showed her how to be a leader and that expanded as she joined the teen center at her Club. Today, Ayani is the President of the Keystone Club and encourages her peers to work hard in school and take on leadership opportunities.
“Before I was in the teen center, every time my name was mentioned, it was because of something I did that was bad. Now, everything that they say about me is about my growth and accomplishments. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Cincinnati believed in me at my worst and helped me discover my potential. They’ve taught me leadership qualities about myself that I will take with me wherever I go in life,” Ayani Weaver said.
Ayani competed against three other exemplary Youth of the Year finalists:
- Caleb Turner II, Dudley S. Taft Club is a freshman at Clark Montessori High School and plans to attend college after graduation. He’s been at BGCGC for 10 years and loves the kids, atmosphere, and his continuous development. He hopes with Youth of the Year he will be an example of integrity and courage.
- Dreson McLaurin, Clem & Ann Buenger Club, is in 8th grade at Newport High School and has been attending the Club for 5 years. Outside of school and the Club he enjoys basketball, video games, and volunteers at a local barbershop. He’s looking forward to being a role model for fellow teens.
- Lily Workman, Jeff Wyler Club, is an 8th grader at West Clermont Middle School. She writes her own music and stories and aspires to make a career out of it. She looks forward to coming to the Club every day and it’s helped her become more confident and motivated in school.
Caleb Turner was named Runner-Up and will receive a $2,000 scholarship.
Ayani will be awarded a check for $20,000 at Blue Door Bash, BGCGC’s largest fundraiser, on May 21, 2022 at Paul Brown Stadium. The event will honor and celebrate our 2022 Youth of the Year while guests enjoy drinks, food stations, casino games including Black Jack, Roulette, Craps and much more. If you or your organization is interested in partnering with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Cincinnati for this event please reach out to Sydney Maxwell at email@example.com or 513.421.8909 x 13.
For more information on the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Cincinnati, visit www.bgcgc.org.