Each year Boys & Girls Clubs of Collin County members are chosen to compete in the local Youth of The Year (YOY) program by the BGCCC branches in Frisco, McKinney and Plano.  The clubs choose a Junior Youth of the Year Candidate (ages 10-13) and a Youth of the Year Candidate (ages 14-18) to present to a panel of judges selected from local businesses and organizations.  The youth talk about what the Boys & Girls Clubs has meant to them and their family. They share their school activities, volunteer and community involvement and future plans. The program is designed to build leadership and communication skills, goal setting and teamwork, helping to prepare them for the workplace and the challenges of adulthood.

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 an exemplary ambassador for Boys & Girls Club youth and as a strong voice for all our nation’s young people.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Collin County announced at a dinner on January 27, the Jr. Youth of the Year, Mr. Trey Alston from the Plano Club.  Trey is 11-years old and in the 6th grade at Bowman Middle School. He has been a club member since age 5 and enjoys serving others.  Recently he worked with the Plano Lions Club, cleaning 5,000 pairs of glasses to send to Africa, volunteered in the Battle of the Badges blood drive and helped the Plano Rotary Club build boxes for a book program. He wants to attend college and become a Dentist.

The Youth of the Year of the Year Winner representing the Frisco Club is Arianna Akinwunmi. Arianna is an 18-year old 12th grader at Wakeland High School. She has been a member for 13 years and has over 170 hours of Community Service for 2017.  She teaches dance to younger members, works with Sr. Centers, Adopt a Street Programs and Club health fairs.  She has a GPA of 3.6 and anticipates a career as an Entrepreneur and a Financial Executive. Arianna believes in a vision for hope, change, caring for others and exhibiting a positive attitude.

Guest Speaker for the evening was Mr. Chris Carter of Toyota North America, one of the National Sponsors of the Youth of the Year program.   Mr. Carter is a Certified Project Management Professional in project and program management, leadership, instruction, team building and people development worldwide.  He and other Toyota employees served as mentors to those competing for the YOY local program.

The BGCCC was pleased to have Mr. Byron Jones #31 of the Dallas Cowboys there to support and congratulate the YOY winners. Byron is a big supporter of the BGCCC and recently provided a Nike Shopping trip for 15 kids and works with two groups of young men in the clubs.

The local BGCCC winners will go to Austin in March and be part of the Statewide competition.