My year as National YOY was by far the best year I have ever had. I had so many incredible experiences, and many of them were once in a lifetime experiences. I was able to travel all around the country, even other parts of the world, just talking about how Boys & Girls Clubs of America has impacted and even saved my life.
I was able to try to inspire others to become Boys & Girls Club members, or even to support one of the greatest movements there is, the Boys & Girls Club Movement.
Many of these things were very exciting times: getting to go into the Oval Office of the White House to meet with President Obama, being on the field at a World Series game, and even attending events and meeting many Olympians in London at the 2012 Summer Olympics!
Nick Foley (second from left) joins the 2011 Youth of the Year finalists in the Oval Office with President Obama.
All of these incredible experiences were just a small piece of my amazing year. Actually, one of my favorite trips was to Ft. Worth, Texas, to attend the National Keystone Conference. Of course Keystone Conferences are always my favorite times of the year, but this one was even more special. This year, I was fortunate enough to be a part of the conference, and speak to all 1500 teens at the opening session of the conference. This was important to me because I remember all those other conferences over the years where I looked up to the speakers on stage inspiring us, but now it was my turn to be up there. That was a big moment for me, and added to an incredible year as National YOY.
I am so excited for Trei Dudley to have an extraordinary year as the new National YOY, and I really hope she just takes it all in, because it will be such a fast and exciting year.
Thinking back on it all one last time, the biggest thing is this…
Many people know my story of how I was abandoned by my parents, and never really had a place to call home, constantly moving around wondering what kind of family I would have next. I finally got that family when I was adopted, and when I found my Club Sarah Heinz House, but this year I found something else.
Nick Foley, BGCA's 2011-2012 National Youth of the Year
I found a much larger family, and now when I travel all over the country, going place to place, I have aunts and uncles waiting for me there, my BGCA family, my Tupperware family, and everyone else who has believed in me, supported me and all of the 4 million kids in Boys & Girls Clubs of America. I can never thank you all enough for that.
Thank you for the best year of my life!