Griggs “shines” a message of positivity
Ricquaria Griggs believes in empowering others – it’s a message she’s been spreading since joining Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club in 2012. It was there within the walls of her Boys & Girls Club that she found her inner voice and confidence to start sharing her positivity. And, it was on stage at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Georgia Youth of the Year competition she heard her inner voice say, “I’m here.”
‘Here’ was hearing her name being called as a semi-finalist in the state-wide competition, where she competed against more than 30 youth from Georgia Clubs.
The statewide competition was a three-day competition, which consisted of interviews, essays and speeches focusing on how Boys & Girls Clubs impacted the youth.
For Griggs, the impact was easy to name – “the Club taught me to love myself and how I can in return take that love and give it to my community.”
And even though she didn’t take home the title of state-wide Youth of the Year, Griggs keeps echoing two words, “I’m here.”
“After the winner was announced a fellow Youth of the Year said to me, ‘but, I’m here’ and I couldn’t help but reflect on the meaning of those two words for my life and my future,” she shared. “Wherever I am meant to be and whatever I am truly meant to pursue, I will get there because I was here – because this Club and organization believed in me and because I believed in myself.”
Among those gathered to support Ricquaria was Greene County High School Principal, James Peek, who shared his excitement in her successes.
“It has been a tremendous experience attending this Youth of the Year ceremony. We at Greene County High School are very proud of Ricquaria’s accomplishments,” he shared. “She is an outstanding student and tremendous leader in our community. I know that she is on the path to do great things in the future.”
For Mike Conrads, a Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia advisory board member and donor toward the Youth of the Year program, watching Ricquaria grow was an immense honor to participate in.
“Shine is the word – Ricquaria is amazing,” he shared. “She’s such a great representative and she truly has her act together. She knows where she’s going, so humble and just a wonderful spirit. It’s been wonderful to watch her grow through this last year.”
Conrads added, “She’s going to be a superstar in the future – she already is.”
“She’s going to be leader and she is going to come back to our community and give back – that’s her.”
During the course of the last year, Ricquaria was been named Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year, as well as the organization wide Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia Youth of the Year. Her accomplishments are marked by her unrelenting dedication to grow as a leader, as well as an individual.
Bob Mackey, President & CEO of BGCNCG, said “We are so proud of Ricquaria. She truly lives and breathes our mission statement in her own community efforts to ensure every youth reaches their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.”
“Her accomplishments also echo our core commitment to continue fostering great futures for our youth in North Central, as this marks the second year a youth from our organization was named a semi-finalist in this competition,” he added. “We’re also so grateful for the individuals who helped prepare Ricquaria for this competition. Thank you, Linda and Mike Conrads, June and Michael Tompkins, Terressa and Kim Jensen for helping prep her for the sessions.”
For Ricquaria, her future is bright and sure to be something “amazing.”
“Because of my local Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club and the Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia, I was given the opportunity to share my story and inspire others along the way,” she shared. “I now have the confidence to keep striving to be successful. I can’t wait to see what’s next for me because I know it is going to be something amazing!”
Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Youth of the Year recognition program empowers young people to reach their full potential by providing youth with access to the tools they need to build the great futures they imagine.
Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia’s vision is to provide a world-class experience that assures success is within reach of every young person who enters its doors.
For more information or to donate, visit www.bgcncg.com. If you’d like to get involved, please contact 770-267-8034.