Selected among 26 outstanding youth in the state, Henderson County’s Sarah Parker has been named the North Carolina Youth of the Year by Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA). The Youth of the Year title is a prestigious honor bestowed upon an exemplary young person in recognition of leadership, service, academic excellence and dedication to live a healthy lifestyle.
Sarah Parker is an A-student at North Henderson High School and has been a member of the Boys & Girls Club of Henderson County for the last three years. As a Club member, Sarah is an active part of the Keystone Club, a teen leadership and community service group. She was also chosen as the Club’s SMART Girls ambassador in 2015, and she earned a position as part of the organization's Junior Staff as well, assisting during programs with the Club’s youngest members. Sarah plans to pursue degrees in Spanish and Art at Berea College, where she recently received the Pinnacle Scholar Award of Excellence in the area of service.
“I strive for excellence in all that I do, and I want to make a difference in the world. I want to impact those around me,” Parker said. “The Boys and Girls Club is one of the greatest places I know. I am proud to be part of it and also blessed for all it has done in my life,” she added.
Local Youth of the Year Sponsor, Hunter Subaru, awarded Parker with her first $1,000 scholarship in January, after she won the Henderson County Youth of the Year title. “We’re thrilled for Sarah. She’s a great example of what can happen with hard work and dedication,” said Randy Hunter, Owner of Hunter Subaru. “As we celebrate more than 75 years in business, we couldn’t be prouder to support the Boys & Girls Club of Henderson County. We care about our community, and the Club has a huge, positive impact on the lives and education of so many families in our region.”
As the North Carolina Youth of the Year, Parker will serve as an ambassador for all teens in the state and will receive college scholarships totaling $10,000 from BGCA and North Carolina Area Council of Boys & Girls Clubs. This summer, Parker competes against other finalists within the Southeast Region. If named regional winner, she will be awarded an additional $10,000 college scholarship, renewable for four years up to $40,000.
Ultimately, six youth, including five regional winners and a military youth winner, will advance to Washington, D.C., in September 2016, 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 $25,000, renewable for four years up to $100,000 and will have the opportunity to meet with the President of the United States in the White House.
The National Youth of the Year recognition program is presented by Disney, who has supported BGCA for more than 50 years. For more information about the Youth of the Year program, visit www.bgca.org/yoy.