Teen named Youth of the Year for Boys & Girls Club

Alleyha Dannett’s hard work has paid off as she was selected to compete in the Connecticut Youth of the Year competiton. — Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich photo

Alleyha Dannett’s hard work has paid off as she was selected to compete in the Connecticut Youth of the Year competiton.
— Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich photo

It seems Boys & Girls Club member Alleyha Dannett is not your average teen.

After being selected among nine local outstanding youth, Alleyha  will compete against other members for the Connecticut Youth of the Year title and a $1,000 college scholarship from Tupperware Brands Corporation. As the new Youth of the Year for Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich, 16-year old Alleyha is recognized by the club as a true example of an extraordinary young woman 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 (BGCG) member can receive. As the Boys & Girls Club of America’s premier youth recognition program, Youth of the Year recognizes outstanding contributions to a member’s family, school, community and Boys & Girls Club, as well as overcoming personal challenges and obstacles. Youth of the Year encourages club members to reach their full potential by achieving academic success, leading healthy lifestyles and contributing to their communities. According to the organization, honorees are shining examples and living proof that great futures start at Boys & Girls Clubs.

“Having helped shaped Alleyha’s lifevoice, we are so proud of her and are thrilled she will be our Youth of The Year ambassador for the next year. Her contagious smile, great energy and zeal to keep climbing high in life will inspire and motivate all around her,” said Robert DeAngelo, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich.

Alleyha has been a member of the club for seven years and said “[The club] is my home and the place where I have been allowed to grow in so many ways.”

With the help of BGCG she has been able to overcome some of her most challenging obstacles and found that she is a leader among her peers, she added.

Now a junior at Greenwich High School, Alleyha enjoys writing and being the teen columnist for a local newspaper. She runs cross country and winter track at school and in the not so distant future she hopes to attend her dream school, New York University and double major in communications with a focus on journalism, and marketing with a minor in international studies. Alleyha has accumulated hundreds of hours in the Keystone Club — a BGCG leadership club for teens ages 14 to 18 that focuses on academic success, career preparation and community service — volunteers at Central Middle School with their annual performance and would like to take a stance against the social stigmas attributed to homelessness.

In May, Alleyha will compete against 16 other Connecticut Boys & Girls Club’s Youth of the Year honorees. If she wins at the state competition, she will compete for the title of Northeast Region Youth of the Year and an additional $10,000 scholarship from Tupperware Brands, the recognition program’s national sponsor. Five regional winners will advance to Washington, D.C., in September, to compete for the title of BGCA’s National Youth of the Year. The National Youth of the Year will receive an additional scholarship of up to $50,000 from The Rick and Susan Goings Foundation and will have the opportunity to meet with the President of the United States in the White House.

Noteworthy BGCG finalists for the 2013 Youth of the Year included Breyana Baxter, Jenny Cespedes, Tatiyana Charles, Matheus Chaves, Carter Hughes, Peter Hughes, Julia Tedesco and Sabrina Wala.

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