Jazinae Patterson, a 16 year-old Club member from the Southside Village Boys & Girls Club, has been named the 2015 Twin Cities Youth of the Year

Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Youth of the Year recognition is the highest honor a Club member can achieve. The Youth of the Year program celebrates youth who have overcome enormous odds and demonstrated exceptional character and accomplishments. These deserving young people are recognized for service to their Club and community, academic performance, and contributions to their family.

Jazinae is a junior at Washburn High School and has been a Club member since the age of nine. “At the Boys & Girls Clubs, they believe that all children deserve the opportunity to succeed. They believe that all children, no matter what their circumstances, can have a great future. They believe in me. They have faith in me. Because of this I was able to build trust with more people and see my potential.”

She joined the Southside Village Club just two years after her mother passed away from sickle cell anemia. She felt lost and was struggling to find purpose for her life. Having never known her father, she relied on her grandmother and cousins for family support. She credits the Boys & Girls Club, along with other protective factors in her life, for being able to overcome these obstacles and succeed.

“Jazinae is a positive role model to youth across the Clubs,” said Erin Carlin, President and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities. “Between serving as President of Keystone Club (a Club leadership program) and making the honor roll while playing varsity basketball, she also volunteers her time to younger Club members. Every day she goes above and beyond, not only as a Club member, but as a member of our community.”

Jazinae has served as the Keystone Leadership club’s president and vice president, regularly participates in SMART girls, performs at organizational fundraisers as a singer and regularly volunteers her time with younger members at the Club. She also is an active member of her church, a varsity basketball player and honor roll student.

Her goal after high school is to attend the University of Minnesota studying child psychology. She would like to provide therapeutic services to juveniles who have ended up in the system by making poor decisions at a young age.