Meet our 2014 Youth of the Year Candidates!
February 22nd, 2014
TERRY JONES is a 15 year old sophomore at University Prep Academy. Terry has been a member at the Paul I. Phillips Club since Fall of 2012. In addition to spending time at the Club Terry enjoys playing basketball, watching movies and working on cars. Terry would like to attend the University of Michigan and study business.
RAYMOND KING is a 15 year old sophomore at Grandville High School. Raymond has been a member of the Steil Club since 2009. He is involved in theater, tennis and political science. Raymond enjoys spending time at the Club, being involved in the Ketystone Club, and volunteering in the community. Raymond's future plans include studying to be a constitutional lawyer and Senator at either UCLA or the University of Michigan.
MYEKWAUN MOORE is an 18-year-old junior, who attends Southwest Career Pathways. His hobbies include spending time with family and playing basketball. Myekwaun has been a Club member at the Paul I. Phillips Club since Fall of 2012. He can often be found at the Club volunteering and helping Mr. Zak with the dinner program. In addition to volunteering at the Club, Myekwaun has volunteered at God’s Kitchen. Myekwaun hopes to one day attend Michigan State University and pursue a career in medicine.
About Youth of the Year:
Established in 1947, “Youth of the Year” is Boys & Girls Club of America’s premier recognition program for Club members, promoting service to Club, community and family; academic success; strong moral character; life goals; and poise and public speaking ability.
Local Clubs recognize members as “Youth of the Month” winners. The Club also holds a local “Youth of the Year” competition for Club members between the ages of 14-18, where one Club member is then selected as the “Youth of the Year”. The local Clubs’ “Youth of the Year” then participates in the state competition. State winners each receive a $1,000 scholarship and participate in regional competitions.
Five regional winners each receive a $10,000 scholarship and compete on the national level. The “National Youth of the Year” receives up to an additional $50,000 scholarship and is installed by the President of the United States.
The 2014 Youth of the Year will receive a $1,000 scholarship as well as a $100 gift card and personal stylist from Younkers. All 2014 candidates received a Microsoft Surface from Hand Crafted Systems.
Join us on February 27th to help celebrate the accomplishments of these three amazing candidates and find out the winner! Click here for event information!
Celebrating Music and Black History Month
February 18th, 2014
Second semester is underway at the Clubs and the Performing Arts Program is running at full speed. After our very successful Winter Concert, we came back after the break and started to work on some new concepts. All our members who participate in the music programming, including general music and chorus students, are now learning the fundamentals of music notation and note reading. I’ve been very pleased with their progress.
Guitar and piano students continue to impress me with their focus and dedication. We are continuing with the class studies and in addition we have begun working on songwriting. Students are collaborating to put songs together with chords, melodies and lyrics. I am there to support their efforts and help guide the way, but they are writing these songs completely on their own. It’s something they are really enjoying, and it’s very exciting for all of us to see what happens. To be at the level where we can take what they’ve learned and apply it so they can express themselves through composition is something I am so very proud to see.
We have partnered with some local non-profits including Step Up Youth and Do Your Dance Inc. to offer dance programming as well, with additional classes beginning this April.
This month we have been celebrating Black History Month by learning about the origins of blues and jazz music, as well as the various instruments that are used in these genres. This also brings an opportunity to talk about how African-American musicians influenced the modern music of today, and what their lives were like in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
As the Spring Concert gets closer (May 8!) we are choosing our repertoire and beginning to rehearse the various pieces. We have some great things planned so we hope to see you in May!
The performing arts are an important component of learning, and it’s important to me that we continue to offer these programs to our members. Studies show that at-risk youth who have arts exposure are twice as likely to attend a 4-year college or university. 71% of at-risk youth with arts-rich experiences attend some kind of college as opposed to 48% with low arts exposure. As more and more schools are forced to cut art and music programs, it’s important that children in the Grand Rapids community have options outside of the schools, or options to bolster what the schools are offering. We are glad to be one of many Grand Rapids organizations that are committed to offering quality arts programs. Contact us to hear how you can help!
/ Mr. Casey
Grand Rapids Club Members' Artwork goes to Indy
February 16th, 2014
Over the last year, the members from each of the Boys & Girls Clubs have been able to flex their creative muscles in the Art Room. Each of our three Clubs has a dedicated staff member to host art programs. Activities range from simple construction paper crafts to highly advanced fine art activities, and the creativity that flows through the Club cannot be stopped. In December, we hosted an art contest for kids that had been participating in weekly fine arts lessons judged by community members. The artwork that was produced for this contest was exhibited at the Winter Arts Showcase, which shows a spotlight on the Clubs' Performing and Visual Arts programs.
The winners of this contest will be exhibited at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis Regional Art Show as a part of the National Fine Arts Program hosted by Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Studies show that participating in art programs "benefit from a wide range of positive effects including development of creativity and thinking skills, better self-expression, appreciation of art and music, learning about other cultures, and enriched personal satisfaction with their achievements". (Artinaction.org) Artists at the Boys & Girls Clubs benefit from daily after-school art programs. The chance to exhibit locally, regionally, and —with luck—nationally with the National Fine Arts program is a great opportunity for recognition of this creativity.
The next programs hosted by the Art Department are the ImageMakers photography program, hosting a show at each Club's Family Night on March 26th, and an emphasis on painting that will include private lessons from local artists.
February's Youth of the Month!
February 15th, 2014
Our Youth of the Month (YOM) program spotlights a Club member who truly represents the mission of our Clubs. Staff will decide on a YOM based on their involvement in different activities and behavior. It is a program that helps to build our participation in the national Youth of the Year program.
Congratulations to February's Youth of the Month Winners:
Seidman Club: Reniya
Why Staff Selected Reniya: Reniya is always smiling and bringing a positive attitude to the Club. She is a big helper to Ms. Nika in the Art Room. We are proud to award her Youth of the Month!
Paul I. Phillips Club: Delarah
Why Staff Selected Delarah: Delarah has been nominated because we believe she truly represents the BGC and participates in all areas available for her. She follows the rules with a smile on her face and respects the staff and other members.
Steil Club: Robert aka RJ
Why Staff Selected RJ: We endorse homework at the Clubs, and RJ has been a superstar advocate of it. He has improved his homework completion as well as his overall participation with Club activities. From helping a staff member in a program area to taking responsibility and being an example to other Club members, RJ's leadership skills and academic improvement make him a clear choice for the Youth of the Month!