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2023 National Military Youth of the Year Announced

Military Youth of the Year
The Boys & Girls Clubs of America has announced the 2023-2024 National Military Youth of the Year distinction goes to Xavier B., a member of Fort Campbell’s Child and Youth Services for the last six years and now enrolled at Austin Peay State University.

For more than three decades, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America have partnered with the Defense Department to provide nationally recognized programs and resources for thousands of military youth around the world.

Boys & Girls Clubs created the Military Youth of the Year distinction to honor outstanding teens in BGCA-affiliated youth centers on U.S. military installations. This recognition is especially important given the unique challenges that military-connected youth and teens face, moving every two to three years and changing schools anywhere from six to nine times before graduating high school.

Each year, BGCA selects an exceptional Club member as the National Military Youth of the Year, who serves as an exemplary ambassador as the military youth spokesperson for the Defense Department, the military services and the Boys & Girls Clubs. Prior to receiving this honor, Xavier earned $22,500 in college scholarships awarded through the state and regional levels of the Military Youth of the Year program. an additional $20,000 for college, bringing his total scholarship amount to $42,500.

As this year’s National Military Youth of the Year, Xavier will receive an additional $20,000, bringing his total scholarship to $42,500. He will go on to compete in the Boys & Girls Clubs’ National Youth of the Year competition Oct. 5 in New York City. The winner of the national competition will receive an additional $50,000 scholarship in recognition of hard work, dedication and exemplary achievements.

Xavier is interested in computer science and counts integrity and determination as key factors in his success. “Diversity and inclusion are critical elements in creating positive relationships,” Xavier noted in his acceptance speech. “Opening one’s mind to include others’ points of view is imperative to our personal growth.”

Patricia Montes Barron, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Military Community and Family Policy, emphasized the importance of Youth Programs. “The DOD’s partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America is paramount to providing continuity of youth development programs for youth as they move between installations and around the world. These educational and developmental programs and activities allow our military-connected youth to explore new ideas, cultivate interests and develop into the leaders of tomorrow. Congratulations to all the military teens who participated and to this year’s winner. Your integrity and determination make your military community proud.”

The military partnership makes up 10% of the Boys & Girls Clubs. In addition, all youth centers are open and available to all military-connected children, youth and teens. Youth centers on military installations currently serve 390,000 military children and offer many of the same club programs as traditional clubs.

Teens can find out more information about Boys & Girls Clubs and the contacts for their local installation youth centers through the MilitaryINSTALLATIONS Programs and Services Contacts page.

The Office of Child and Youth supports military children by providing programs designed to address the specific challenges of military life and help children, youth and teens to thrive.

Military Community and Family Policy is directly responsible for establishing and overseeing quality of life policies and programs that ensure our service members, their families and survivors are well and mission ready.

Military OneSource is the gateway to programs and services that support the everyday needs of the 5.2 million service members and immediate family members of the military community. These DOD services are accessible 24/7/365 around the world.

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