2024 Youth of the Year Candidates

As the new year begins, we are getting excited to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of Club teens by recognizing the Youth of the Year. Club members who earn the Youth of the Year title embody the values of leadership service; academic excellence; and healthy lifestyles. They exemplify the critical impact that Boys & Girls Clubs have on the lives of young people. 

At BGCTC, we regularly recognize members ages 14 to 18 as “Youth of the Month” winners and are now ready to select a BGCTC Youth of the Year. Our BGCTC Youth of the Year Celebration is one of many Youth of the Year Celebrations taking place throughout the nation. Each year, thousands of Club teens participate in local, state and regional Youth of the Year events. Six teens, including five regional winners and a national military youth winner, advance to the National Youth of the Year Celebration, where one outstanding young person is named Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s national teen spokesperson. The National Youth of the Year is a role model, leader and advocate for over 3.6 million youth served by Boys & Girls Clubs each year, and all of America’s young people.

We are honored to introduce you to our BGCTC 2024 Youth of the Year candidates!

Jeremie Niyonkuru

Jeremie has been an active member of the Patrick Henry Club for the past four years. The Club has offered a safe, supportive space for Jeremie. He completed an internship as a student teacher for the Black Men Teach program which led to a deep-rooted passion for being part of the solution that addresses the gap in equitable educational opportunities. Jeremie is a very versatile athlete and plays sports throughout the year including football, basketball and track. Through sports and many other Club activities, Jeremie has developed his leadership skills and is often asked to participate in leadership roles. Jeremie is also a very talented artist and hopes to combine a career in education, photography, and graphic design.

Soriya Chann

Soriya is a Senior and has been an active member of Mt. Airy Club for three years. She is very dedicated to her Club and academics; she has received the “Member of the Month” award in her Club and “Student of the Month” award in her school! Soriya is passionate about creative arts and enjoys musicals and performing. Soriya is kind and loving to all people and has a genuine empathy for the well-being of others. She is dedicated to creating positive experiences for those who are seeking support for their mental health and is considering a career in therapy.

Makya “EJ” Butler

Makya is a Senior and has been a member of the Jerry Gamble Club for 13 years! Makya is extremely dedicated to her Club and gives back in so many ways. She currently works at the Club as a Youth Development Assistant and has also been a manager for youth football, basketball, softball, and baseball. Makya is a natural caretaker and is passionate about protecting youth from violence. She loves to dance and is considering a career in Business & Cosmetology. 

Kalvin Vang

Kalvin is a Senior and has been a member of the East Side Club for the past two years. He is an extremely active member of the Keystone Club and many other extracurricular activities such as Volleyball, Junior Olympics Club, Band, Choir, and Robotics! Kalvin has been able to utilize the leadership skills he learned in the Career Launch curriculum to obtain his first job at the Club. Kalvin cares deeply for the mental well-being of others and is always willing to lend an ear to his peers. 

Makenna Bishop

Makenna has been a member of the East Side & West Side Club for eight years! She is an active member of Keystone Club and also works as a Program Assistant for her Club. Makenna is an advocate of building self-worth and cares for her fellow Club members. She has a love for music and performing and was able to explore and grow with the Notes for Notes program. She is also a volleyball player! As a senior, Makenna is thinking about her future and is planning for a career in Dermatology. 

Amerin Chamberlin

Amerin is a Senior and has been a member of the Little Earth Club for 4.5 years. He is the President of the Keystone Club and also serves as a member on the Youth Council. Amerin is a very versatile athlete and enjoys the following sports: football, baseball, volleyball, and lacrosse! Amerin wants to create a better future for ALL and encourages others to attend the Club!

Brynna Hodge

Brynna is a Sophomore at the Southside Village Club. She enjoys creative arts such as ceramics, painting, and dancing. Brynna is a great listener and is always willing to give her time to her Club family. Brynna also gives her time by serving as the Secretary for her school’s Student Council. She is dedicated to helping others find their voice and is an advocate for creating positive change and equitable opportunities for all. 

We are so inspired by all of these amazing Club teens and can’t wait to see what their futures hold. Stay tuned to find out who is named the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities Youth of the Year on Wednesday, January 31! Click here to learn more about Youth of the Year.

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