Each year, one exceptional Club member
is selected to be the Youth of the Year, serving as an ambassador for Boys & Girls Club youth as well as a voice for all of our nation’s young people.
Over the year, these individuals have exemplified the Boys & Girls Club mission and are proof to the impact Clubs make in transforming and saving kids’ lives.
Kiara Mosley believes that “…this generation wants nothing more than to improve the world that we know now, so that our children never have to worry about getting the resources they need to pursue happiness.” Kiara has exemplified this belief in many ways at school and church, and at the Bernard Malkove Boys & Girls Club, which led to her selection as Boys & Girls Clubs of South Alabama’s 2021 Youth of the Year.
At the Club, she has served as Vice President and President of the Club’s Keystone Chapter, participated in planning and facilitation of teen events, helped to plan safe, socially distanced parties for younger members and participated in volunteer events such as Art Walk, food drives and voter registration events. Kiara serves as BGCSA’s UPS Road Code Ambassador, promoting safe teen driving habits including posting PSA’s to social media during National Teen Driving Safety Week.
Kiara is a senior at Baker High School and is an AP Honors Scholar with a 4.69 GPA. After graduating in May, 2021 she intends to enter the University of Mobile to pursue a degree in Child Psychology. Kiara is an active member and speaker at Pilgrim Rest A.M.E. Zion Church, where she has been recognized for her many accomplishments.
Kiara credits her experiences at her Club with helping her to develop the social, academic and life skills that have helped transform her into an accomplished young woman, stating, “I know that I would not have many of my most important relationships or skills if I had never come to a Boys & Girls Club.”
“I want nothing more than to give people, more specifically younger children, the opportunity to make change happen.” — Kiara Mosley
Among all those who know him, Sonny Callahan Club’s Youth of the Year Javelle Johnson is recognized as someone who cares deeply about the welfare of others, is focused and motivated, and respectful of others. However, that was not always true.
In 2009, the murder of Javelle’s father devastated his family, and he struggled to cope with seeing his family suffer and with his own intense anger. Added to those obstacles was the fact that he has a learning disability, so going to school was especially “difficult and depressing.” But within a few months of his attending, the Club became an after-school safe haven for Javelle. Gradually, with the support of Club staff, participation in a variety of activities and mentoring the younger Club
members, Javelle began to mature and learned how to cope with the obstacles in
As a member of the Club’s “Job Ready” workforce training program, Javelle’s responsibilities include the maintenance and cleaning of the Club, something in which he takes great pride. He is active in the teen programs, volunteering at food drives and the Salvation Army and participating in the Club’s Teen Nights. With his “calming influence” on sometimes rambunctious younger kids, Javelle is often asked to lead Club activities for that age group.
As a junior at Theodore High School, Javelle is known as an exemplary student who is intense about learning and goes beyond what is required in class. As a member of the track team he exhibits both athletic ability and leadership. After graduating high school, Javelle wants to enroll in Bishop State Community College’s welding apprenticeship program.
“The person that I have become is something that no one would have expected me to become. Going to the Club molded me into a different person.” —Javelle L. Johnson
Noah believes one should join the Optimist Boys & Girls Club for the diversity, opportunities and experiences it provides, and credits his Club journey for helping him to move from being a “shy, private person into an outgoing leader and role model.” Noah’s selection as his Club’s Youth of the Year for two consecutive years reflect how much he has taken advantage of those opportunities and experiences.
BGCSA’s Job Ready program provided Noah with his first job, and the chance to develop a good work ethic and social skills. Working at the Club’s annual Optimist Christmas Tree Lot helped him refine his customer relations skills. He is currently serving as Keystone Club president, and is a member of the Gavel Club and Omega Lamplighters. Assisting with writing the Club newsletter, attending the Rotary Youth Leadership Camp, learning to swim, and the chance to travel to national BGC youth events are unique chances which Noah views as having made him a more social, well-rounded person.
Noah is an active member of Destiny Vision Christian Center where he is a member of the sound and media team. In 2018 he was the recipient of an award from P.U.S.H., Inc., a local mentoring group, for his school and civic involvement. Upon graduation from Grace Bible College in May, 2021 Noah plans to attend UAB to pursue a degree in Biomedical Engineering.
“I want my story to be one of empowering and motivating others to keep persevering through any obstacle. Staying motivated, focused and prayed up are the keys to my success and can be to others as well.” —- Noah Mingo
As a five-year member of the Semmes Boys & Girls Club, Madison Durggins considers her Club as a “second home” where she and her friends have grown together and become close friends. According to Madison, her special network of Club friends study together, volunteer together and encourage one another to achieve and be their very best.
Madison is treasurer of the Keystone Club and has helped to plan #WeOwnFriday teen nights. She has also volunteered at the Semmes All Class Reunion event held at the Club, and at the Annual Christmas Tree fundraiser sponsored by Pathway Church.
Madison is a rising junior at Mary G. Montgomery High school where she has earned a 3.78 GPA and is ranked in the upper 10% of her class. She is a member of Future Business Leaders of America and is considered as an outstanding, active member of the Leadership Program. As a leadership student she has hosted and organized pep rallies, fundraising events and a blood drive for Life South. After graduation in 2022, Madison plans to attend Alabama State University and major in Education and Social Work.
“I will use my voice to ensure that I am heard. My voice is meant to be heard, but many youth today feel as though they have no voice. I want to be the drum major and the champion for change.” — Madison Durggins
Brandon McCall often tells about experiencing anxiety and low self-esteem when he was younger, but as a result of his twelve years as a member of the Kiwanis Boys & Girls Club he now confidently describes himself as a “determined, empathetic and inspiring leader.”
According to Brandon, self-confidence, dealing with hardships and empowerment are just a few of the skills he learned as a BGC member. He now uses these skills to help other young people face their own feelings of negativity and peer pressure. “When my friends come to me with their issues, I try my best to brighten their day and encourage them to keep going, and to better themselves,” says Brandon.
At the Kiwanis BGC, Brandon is Vice-President of the Keystone Club, is a liaison with the Torch Club, and has organized #WeOwnFridays teen events and community cleanups. Currently a junior at John LeFlore High School’s Law & Public Safety Signature Academy, Brandon has a 3.40 GPA and is ranked tenth in his class. He previously served as President of his homeroom. Brandon is active in his church where he serves as an Usher.
When he graduates in May of 2022, Brandon plans to study for a degree in Psychology at Morehouse College, and to pursue a career as a children’s therapist.
“It’s our job to lift up each other and empower one another. We are people of the present and the future.” —- Brandon McCall