Tag Archives: boys and girls clubs of metropolitan phoenix

Youth of the Year chapter winners advance to state competition

Three teens from Valley Boys and Girls Clubs chapters were chosen as Youth of the Year winners to represent their branches at the state-level competition tonight at the U.S. Airways Center. The state winner will advance to the Pacific Region Youth of the Year competition later this year.

Here are the local chapter winners:

Greater Scottsdale

Alyssa Coughenour. Photo courtesy of the Boys & Clubs of Greater Scottsdale.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale awarded Alyssa Coughenour of the Thunderbird Branch as its 2012 Youth of the Year.

The Pinnacle High School senior took home a $5,000 scholarship from General Dynamics C4 Systems and a $1,000 gift card from American Express at the Celebrate Youth Gala and Auction held at Talking Stick Resort. The other runner-ups also received scholarship money and gift cards valued at $500.

Read more about Alyssa here.

Metropolitan Phoenix

Chloe Johnson. Photo courtesy of Nancy Crase.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix named Chloe Johnson its Youth of the Year competition.

The St. Mary High School junior credits her 12 years at the MLB All-Star Arizona Diamondbacks Branch for her character and determination to help in her community.

Read more about Chloe here.

East Valley

Adrianna Henderson was named Youth of the Year for the Boys and Girls Clubs of the East Valley.

Adrianna Henderson. Photo courtesy of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley.

The Horizon Honors High School senior received a $20,000 scholarship, which she hopes to use to pursue her goal of becoming a physical therapist.

Read more about Adrianna here.

Erin Saltzman

Advertisements

Youth of the Year nominee Zandee Dickinson

Zandee Dickinson, 17, joined the Boys and Girls Club as a safe outlet in her high risk neighborhood.

The Jerry Colangelo Branch of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix gave Dickinson the confidence she was looking for.

Zandee Dickinson. Photo courtesy of Nancy Crase/Crase Photo.

She 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.

“The Boys & Girls Clubs introduced me to other teens my age and there was always someone to give a push in the right direction,” Dickinson says.

From getting involved with the club, she was able to gain interpersonal skills and the confidence to be herself.

“Before coming to the club, I was very shy and insecure. Now I’m able to be myself and am known for my outgoing personality. I like standing out and show that in my unique sense of style,” she says.

The Club also helped Zandee develop the leadership skills to become the president of Keystone Club, a leadership and community service club for teens. During her term, she has organized several fundraisers, including care packages for troops and disaster relief.

At Metro Tech High School, Dickinson takes AP English, is a member of Future Business Leaders of America and attended conferences like, “Pursue the Passion.”

“The Boys & Girls Clubs helped me perform better at the FBLA conferences. I have more confidence talking with people and participating in networking events because of the leadership skills I learned at the Club,” she says.

She also volunteers with her family at a rehabilitation center and food centers like St. Mary’s.

“Volunteering in my community gives me a sense of accomplishment and I like knowing I’ve helped others. Being involved in Keystone has taught me so many things… how to plan and organize, how to work with different people and how to make a real difference in my community,” Dickinson says.

After she graduates, Dickinson wants to go to Grand Canyon University and study to become a psychologist or social worker.

“I have a lot of interest in helping others. I know I would be a great help because I can relate easily to other people, and care about what happens to them,” she says.

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.

Youth of the Year: Chelsea McElhenny

When Chelsea McElhenny was in sixth grade, her world was turned upside down.

Her parents had gotten a divorce and that summer she was assaulted by a friend of the family, which led her to many confusing feelings.

“I just wasn’t the same after that,” she says. “I started slipping in school and a lot of my friends had gotten involved with bad crowds. I didn’t have anyone I could really trust.”

Chelsea McElhenny. Photo by Nancy Crase/CrasePhoto.

McElhenny found the the Woodrow C. Scoutten/Tolleson Branch of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix a few blocks away from her house. From the help of mentors and their support, she was able to get back on track in school and her life.

“The club is a life changer,” she says. “Before I had the club in my life, I didn’t really know what it was like to be part of something good.”

McElheeny 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.

McElhenny is the current vice president of the branch’s Keystone Club, a community service and leadership club for teens. She has volunteered numerous hours to community service projects.

McElhenny also has volunteered her time at the club by helping the younger kids with homework, serving meals and providing assistance with sports.

After she finishes high school, McElhenny plans to attend Arizona State University to become an athletic manager and eventually work for a professional sports team.

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 Ashley Delgado.

Youth of the Year nominee Crystal Ortiz

Crystal Ortiz has been a member of the Spencer D. & Mary Jane Stewart Branch of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix. since she was 5 years old.

“I can still remember the first time I went to the Boys & Girls Club, I was painfully shy and hid behind my mother until another little girl asked me to play four-square. By the end of my first day I was already more at ease and outgoing,” says Ortiz, now 17.

Club activities helped Ortiz get more involved with her community and shaped her sense of responsibility.

Crystal Ortiz. Photo by Nancy Crase/CrasePhoto.

Ortiz 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.

“At my club, I am able to combine my love of service with my passion for sports through my involvement in Miracle League — a program that helps special needs children participate in sporting activities,” Ortiz says.

She also participates in healthy lifestyle programs, like SMART Girls and Keystone Club. Ortiz is also plays softball at school, is a member in DECA (a business development and preparation club) and Greens Club, which helps with restoring her community.

Ortiz volunteers at her club’s front desk, where she assists with administrative tasks and helps various visitors.

Her position has helped her develop interpersonal and professional skills. She also has gained an internship with an athletic director at her high school, Trevor G. Browne.

“I knew I always wanted to pursue a career in medicine and help people. The Boys & Girls Clubs gave me the tools and confidence to interact with others and pursue my current internship,” she says.

The club also helped Ortiz with her academic career.

“The staff and resources helped motivate me to complete my homework and know I wouldn’t be doing as well in school without it,” she says.

Ortiz plans to attend Gateway Community College to become a physical therapist.

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 Chelsea McElhenny.