Chloe Johnson, a junior at St. Mary’s High School, has spent countless time at the MLB All-Star Arizona Diamondbacks Branch of the Boys &Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix. She says it has felt like her second home since she was 5 years old. Johnson is one of 12 outstanding Valley youth vying to become the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix Youth of the Year during the “Today’s Kids, Tomorrow’s Stars” event Feb. 18. The event, which ultimately will chose one youth to represent the chapter at the statewide competition, will be held from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m. at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa. For 12 years, the club provided Johnson with structure and support after school. She spent time doing art, got help with her homework and spent recreational time with friends. “ We would do our homework, then take art classes or learn about computers, but it never felt like learning. It’s also where I played basketball and developed the skills that it takes to be a champion,” Johnson says. Honing those skills at the club helped her advance at St. Mary’s High School to become an honors student and varsity athlete. She was first introduced to her love of basketball at her a club staff member. “Daniel taught me how to play basketball,” she says. “It brings so much joy into my life; I now enjoy going to my club and teaching the younger members how to play.” She still goes back to the club to volunteer. She is also involved with community service projects at her church and is on her school’s varsity basketball team. Johnson is also member of her school’s Black Student Union, Letterman’s Club and Youth for Life Culture Club. Johnson was awarded the AIA Student Athlete Award for Excellence. After high school, she wants to attend an ivy league college on athletic scholarship. She plans to pursue pre-law study so she can go to law school. Her goal is to become a defense attorney so she can defend those who can’t defend themselves. Every year, thousands of children benefit from after-school youth development programs, extended services and community support programs through the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix’ 12 clubhouses, dental clinic and outreach programs. For more information, visit bgcmp.org.
— Erin Saltzman
Tomorrow: Nominee Kallie LaForest.