Grants Pass, OR – Selected among three outstanding youth, Jade Poulain has been named the 2019 Youth of the Year by Boys & Girls Clubs of the Rogue Valley. 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 72nd year, the national 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. Jade will go on to contend for the Oregon Youth of the Year title and an additional $5,000 college scholarship from Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
Lonnie Johnson, Grants Pass Kiwanis Member, had the honor of announcing the winner and presenting the $1,000 scholarship from the Kiwanis Biz for Kidz program, “I sat here tonight watching the youth … encouraging each other, not competing. Encouraging each other to succeed. I love the culture that is instilled in the kids by this Club. It is outstanding.”
Jade Poulain, a sophomore at Grants Pass High School, has her sights on Law School and plans to be involved in the Violent Crimes Against Children Task Force. “There are many characteristics that make up who I am, but resiliency, determination and positivity: those are the ones I believe to be most important. I know that my limits are endless and if I work hard, anything is possible. I've set many goals for myself and I am determined to accomplish them.”
Jade continued to share, “the stability created by the Boys and Girls Club has been a big part of my life for the last seven years and a big influence on who I am today. The Club has, and will continue to, impact my life in a positive way.”
Over the years as a Club Member, Jade has participated in many of the youth development programs, such as Money Matters financial education, SMART Girls -designed to encourage positive self-esteem, relationships and self-respect, Junior Staff - gaining leadership skills and community service, and this last summer, the Summer Intern Program. Jade has over 250 volunteer hours over the last two years. Through these experiences, Jade gained responsibility, leadership and teamwork. “The Club Staff are not only co-workers and friends, but family. They are supportive and caring and help to develop the lives of children. They have a big impact on them every day. I know this, as I am one of them.”
If Jade wins at the state competition, she will compete for the title of Pacific 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 2019, 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. The Youth of the Year recognition program is presented by The Walt Disney Company, who has supported Boys & Girls Clubs of America 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 is the Signature Sponsor of the national Youth of the Year program. For more information about the Youth of the Year program, visit www.youthoftheyear.org.
The local Youth of the Year event, held on January 31st, was sponsored by Rogue Credit Union and included dinner, a performance from the Club Choir, showcase mixed media artwork from the Junior Picasso Club, and presentations from three Youth of the Year contenders, along with three Junior Youth of the Year participants (middle school youth preparing for their future chance at the Youth of the Year title).
About Boys & Girls Clubs of the Rogue Valley
Serving over 5,500 youth each year, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Rogue Valley works to provide year-round positive, fun and safe places for all youth, helping them build self-esteem and develop skills necessary to make right choices, becoming responsible and productive citizens. Skilled Youth Development Professionals help kids dream big and realize their full potential. Whether they have aspirations of becoming an all-star athlete or an astronaut, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Rogue Valley is a place to become…
Since 1970, Boys & Girls Club of the Rogue Valley has served thousands of Southern Oregon youth through a diversity of quality youth development programs and healthy meals at three Club locations: Grants Pass, Illinois Valley, Talent, and through Team Sports in Josephine County. The Club’s overarching goal is to help each youth reach their full potential and BE GREAT by achieving academic success, living a healthy lifestyle and becoming productive citizens. Boys & Girls Clubs of the Rogue Valley relies on community support to continue to serve our youth, please consider a donation to help our community’s future leaders. Great Futures Start Here.
To learn more about Boys & Girls Club of the Rogue Valley visit www.begreat4kids.com.
About Youth of the Year
Since 1947, Youth of the Year has been Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s premier recognition program, celebrating the extraordinary achievements of Club members. Each year, one exceptional young person from a Boys & Girls Club rises to the role of National Youth of the Year. The National Youth of the Year serves as both an exemplary ambassador for Boys & Girls Club youth and as a strong voice for all of our nation’s young people.
The journey to being named National Youth of the Year begins locally and progresses to state, regional and national levels, with an additional military phase for members of BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 150 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, 4,400 Clubs serve 4 million young people 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 and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Club programs promote 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 on Facebook and Twitter.