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Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island announces Meghan McGrath as it’s 2010 Youth of the Year

MEDIA RELEASE

Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island (BGCBI) proudly announces Meghan McGrath as its 2010 Youth of the Year. Meghan will compete against other Boys & Girls Club members for the Hawaii State Youth of the Year title and a $1,000 scholarship from the Readers Digest Foundation. As BGCBI’s Youth of the Year, Meghan is among hundreds of local youth across the country recognized by Boys & Girls Club of America for her sound character, leadership skills and willingness to give back to the community.

Being named Youth of the Year is the highest honor a Boys & Girls Club member can receive. The title recognizes outstanding contributions to a member’s family, school, community and Boys & Girls Club, as well as personal challenges and obstacles overcome. The Youth of the Year program was founded over 60 years ago through the generosity of Reader’s Digest.

Meghan, 15, is a sophomore at Pahoa High & Intermediate School. She is the current class president and is a nominee for induction in the Pahoa High School chapter of the National Honor Society. She is enrolled in the school’s Gifted and Talented classes and has been on every honor roll since kindergarten. Meghan’s goal is to attend the University of Michigan after graduation from high school.

Meghan is active in a variety of programs at the Boys & Girls Club. She has completed every level of Boys & Girls Club drug prevention program SMART Moves and leads prevention activities for younger Club members. She is an active member of the Keystone Club and was named BGCBI Youth of the Year in 2009. She is an active member of REAL, Hawaii’s youth led anti-tobacco industry group. She has attended every Kick Butts Day at the State Capitol since 2008 and has helped organize the Pahoa Club’s annual Kick Butts Day.

“I am very fortunate to have the Club in my life,” says Meghan, “I wouldn’t be who I am today, and I wouldn’t have done everything I have been able to do as a Boys & Girls Club member. Some of the opportunities that have been opened up for me are becoming a youth advocate for REAL, participating and assisting staff in SMART Moves classes, and getting involved in community service projects with my Club’s Keystone Club. I think the greatest impact in my life that the Club provided to me is becoming the 2009 Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island’s Youth of the Year.”

“In the 5 years I have worked with Meghan and her family, I have watched Meghan mature into a responsible young woman who is passionately involved in various programs and activities. I am constantly impressed by Meghan’s positive attitude and can-do philosophy.”, says Rose Bricker, the Pahoa Club Director. “Our Youth of the Year award exemplifies why we do what we do, day in, and day out here at the Club.”, says Kalani Silva, Chief Professional Officer, “Our staff does a great job with our kids and this is the fruit of their labor of love. It is a very special honor and award for all of us to share with Meghan and her ohana.”

If Meghan wins at the state competition, she will compete for the title of Pacific Region Youth of the Year and an additional $10,000 scholarship. The five regional winners will advance to Washington, D.C., in September 2010 to compete for the title of BGCA’s National Youth of the Year. The National Youth of the Year receives an additional $15,000 college scholarship and is installed by the President in an Oval Office ceremony.

Meghan will be honored at the 2010 Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island Youth of the Year dinner being held at the Hilo Yacht Club on Monday, March 29th. Mayor Billy Kenoi will be the evening’s keynote speaker.

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