The National Youth of the Year competition took place on Sept. 10-15, 2010, in Washington, D.C. Unfortunately, I was not named the 2010 National Youth of The Year winner -- but I am proud to announce that Romonia Dixon is our new 2010 National Youth of the Year!
In Washington, all five Youth of the Year finalists participated in numerous activities that really enhanced our mind and skills.
- On Sept. 11, we went to the Greater Washington Boys & Girls Club, where we helped the Keystone Program raise $250 dollars to send care packages to troops. The four Regional winners and I were able to get our Clubs to donate $50 -- and matched their $250. Overall, we raised $500 for the Keystone Program! This was a great experience and so much fun to see other youth trying to make a difference in the world.
- Monday, Sept. 13, was the big day: the judging. Everyone made sure they were up and ready early so that the judging process could take place. Each finalist was interviewed by each judge and speeches were delivered immediately after interviews were finished.
- On Tuesday, Sept. 14, finalists met with their Senators and Congressmen. I met with Senator Carper, Senator Kaufman and Congressman Castle from the State of Delaware. We also had the honor of having dinner with Ashanti Douglas, the R&B singer who is our National Youth of the Year ambassador and Denzel Washington, who has been BGCA's national spokesperson for 18 years.
- Wednesday, Sept. 15, was the day of the Congressional breakfast. This breakfast announced the 2010 National Youth of the Year for Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Immediately after the ceremony, each finalist had to go to a press event focusing around decreasing high school dropout rates.
- At 1:30 p.m., we went to the Oval Office and met with not only the President of the United States Barack Obama, but Vice President Joe Biden, as well. It was pretty amazing because Denzel Washington also accompanied us to meet with President Obama.
My YOY experience is definitely an experience to remember. I was able to meet such outstanding individuals that want to make a difference. Having that opportunity is truly a blessing and I know this is only the beginning!
I made it this far because of organizations like the Boys & Girls Club. Great futures really do start here!