Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club member Ricquaria Griggs has a simple, but important message – to love yourself and others. It’s a message she’s spent most of her childhood defining and offering peers around her the wisdom to do the same. She credits PNBGC for helping her find her voice and inner beauty.
Her voice was heard loud and clear, as she spoke during Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia’s Doors to Great Futures Donor, Volunteer and Youth of the Year Awards.
“It took me a very long time to love myself,” Riquaria shared. “The Club’s Smart Girls program helped me to see the true beauty I hold and to see how amazing I really am as a person. I love giving back within the Club and in my community. I want everyone to know how special they are inside and out.”
Riquaria quickly learned that night that she’ll have the opportunity to share her uplifting message during the state-wide Youth of the Year competition, as the 2019 Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia Youth of the Year.
During the Doors to Great Futures program, all of the Youth of the Year Candidates were invited to the stage to learn who won the Youth of the Year title for BGCNCG.
As the winner’s banner as being raised, the room fell silent and then erupted with cheers as Riquaria was named the regional winner. Jumping for joy and quickly clasping her hands together with tears flowing, she hugged her fellow Youth of the Year Candidates Ronny Monford of Walton County Boys & Girls Club and Ar’Mond Wright of Madison-Morgan County Boys & Girls Club. Her parents joined her on stage to exchange hugs and their excitement.
Brad Parr, Youth of the Year Program coordinator and PNBGC Director, said he couldn’t be prouder of RIquaria’s accomplishments and growth over the course of the YOY program, which instills characteristics such as leadership, service, academic excellence and dedication to living a healthy lifestyle.
“She is a very active Club member, who participates in every opportunity presented within the Club. She believes that everyone should work to find what inspires them to learn, grow and be the best version of themselves,” he said. “For her, that versionis giving back to her Club members and community through empowerment.”
Reflecting over her title as 2019 Youth of the Year for BGCNCG, Riquaria says, “being named the Regional Youth of the Year for the Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia was such a surprise and great honor.”
“The entire process allowed me to learn more about myself, given me space to reflect over my wonderful experiences at the Club and has helped me to grow as a leader, as well as an individual,” she shared. “As Youth of the Year, I want to encourage more self-love, leadership, and uniqueness within my Club and community. I have always believed that using your inspiration and drive to inspire someone else is the most powerful form of teaching.”
Riquaria says she is looking forward to being exposed to a broader audience during her training leading up to Atlanta and the competition for the state-wide title.
“I am extremely thankful for the Boys & Girls Clubs and even more grateful to represent the Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia and showcase how this Club truly does change lives,” she added.
Bob Mackey, CEO & President of BGCNCG, says “we are so proud of Riquaria. 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.”
Riquaria Griggs was awarded $500 and a brand-new Dell laptop, as a as a result of being named the Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club winner.
She now will receive a $1,000 scholarship and brand-new iPad mini, as a result of being named the Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia Youth of the Year Winner.
She will compete March 3rd-5th in Atlanta for the title of Boys & Girls Clubs of Georgia's Youth of the Year winner where she would be awarded additional scholarship funding and a chance to compete at the Southeast Region competition.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Youth of the Year recognition programempowersyoung 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 our doors.
For more information or to donate, visit www.bgcncg.com. If you’d like to get involved, please contact 770-267-8034.
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