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  • Writer's pictureBGC Metro Baltimore

Shaniya Named 2023 Youth of the Year

Shaniya, an eighth grader at Maree G. Farring Elementary-Middle School and member of our Brooklyn Club, was named Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore’s Youth of the Year in a competition held at Access Holding’s Headquarters on Friday, April 21st. Shaniya advances to the Maryland State competition held in May.


A Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year embodies the qualities of leadership and service, character, academic excellence, and models living a healthy lifestyle.


The selection process required Shaniya and fellow member A’Shawnte to prepare an application (cover letter, resume, essay, and letters of recommendation), deliver a speech, and be interviewed by a panel of five judges who evaluated them on four elements: public speaking, essay, interview, and overall quality of application.

Shaniya was awarded BGCMB’s Youth of the Year due to her exemplary leadership skills and dedication to service. In her essay, Shaniya attested her leadership skills to her Club experience: "I credit the Boys & Girls Club staff for helping shape my leadership, communication skills and confidence. When I was running for Student Vice President, staff carved out daily 1-on-1 time with me to talk about my campaign. They also helped me improve my GPA and earn Student Leader in my school band!”

Shaniya is especially fond of the positive relationships she has made at the Club, saying: “I’ve met some of my closest friends and mentors at the Club. I would not have had the opportunity to meet some of the most influential people in my life if it weren’t for the Boys & Girls Club.” Trent Jones, Brooklyn Club Coordinator, who served as Youth of the Year mentor to Shaniya said, "Shaniya is an outstanding representative of the values and mission of the Boys & Girls Club. Her enthusiasm for service is infectious and she is not afraid to stand up for what is right. I have no doubt she will continue to achieve great things in her future!”

As BGCMB’s Youth of the Year, Shaniya will serve as a role model, ambassador, and spokesperson for Boys & Girls Clubs and their members for the upcoming year. Congratulations, Shaniya! About Youth of the Year

Since 1947, Boys & Girls Club’s Youth of the Year program has honored and celebrated the nation’s most inspiring teens and their journeys. Each year, thousands of Club teens participate in local, state and regional Youth of the Year competitions until one is chosen to represent Boys & Girls Clubs as the National Youth of the Year.


Above: Shaniya presenting her Youth of the Year candidate speech for the panel of judges.


Special thanks to Access Holdings for sponsoring and hosting our 2023 Youth of the Year competition!

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