The five regional Youth of the Year finalists are joined by BGCA Chairman Ron Gidwitz (left) and BGCA President and CEO Jim Clark (back row, second from right) during a special White House visit to meet President Obama. Trei Dudley, our National Youth of the Year, (second from left) is hosting a webcast today to discuss issues concerning teens.
Continuing a decades-long tradition, President Barack Obama yesterday welcomed National Youth of the Year Trei Dudley and Regional Youth of the Year winners Crystile Carter, Denzell Perry, Mai Tong Yang and Tyler Merriweather to the Oval Office.
President Obama was engaging and gracious throughout the private meeting. He congratulated each of the exceptional teens on their accomplishments and answered all their questions. Tyler, for one, asked permission to sit at the President’s desk, who readily agreed. Tyler promptly took his seat with a smile from ear to ear, high-fiving the President in appreciation.
We also talked about issues facing kids today, including findings from our new national teen survey showing joblessness and violence to be among their top concerns. The complete survey findings will be presented later today on our “State of the Youth” webcast at 4 p.m. (Eastern Time).
The President also took time to thank Boys & Girls Clubs across the country. He recognized the importance of our Movement’s work and expressed his personal support for what Clubs do, every day, to make a difference in kids’ lives.
What a momentous day for our Youth of the Year winners. To have the President of the United States set aside time to meet you says you’re special, an important person. And all five of these young people truly are. With the support of their Club, each has overcome personal adversity to lay the foundation for their great future. And today was just the beginning.