Youth of the Year winner determined to make the most of her voice
Kala Lones first walked through Club doors 11 years ago at a time when she was scared, shy, and homeless.
She is now a senior at Appleton North High School and credits the Club with giving her a voice and helping her envision a future for herself that she could be proud of.
Kala has used her voice to become a published writer and beautiful singer. She will continue to use it to work to eliminate the stigma around the mental health crisis. She believes that everyone should have their voices heard. Kala also participates in the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley STAR (Scholars on Track to Achieve Results) program. She dreams of a career in music or journalism.
“While the Club has been a continuous shelter from outside problems in my life, it has also been an amazing platform.”– Kala Lones
Along with this award, Kala receives a $1,000 post-secondary educational scholarship, which is renewable annually for up to four years. She will also have the opportunity to participate in the state Youth of the Year competition in Madison next spring.
Nevaeh Berry, a junior at Appleton North High School was awarded this year’s runner up. She plays volleyball and is enrolled in both the Fox Cities Leadership Academy and Student Leadership Program. Nevaeh focuses on showing students they are more than what statistics say they are and dreams of becoming a dentist.
More about Youth of the Year
Youth of the Year is the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley’s premier recognition program that celebrates the extraordinary achievements of Club teens. Candidates embody the values of leadership, service, academic excellence, and healthy lifestyles.
The process includes an application, interview with our Youth of the Year judges, and formal speech. Then at the event candidates share their stories of resiliency, determination and commitment. This year a total of seven candidates advanced in the program.
This year’s event took place on November 12, 2019 at the UW Oshkosh Fox Cities Campus Communication Arts Center. In their speeches, candidates shared how the Club impacts their lives. They also shared their vision for America’s youth.
Congratulations to all candidates!
Other Evening Highlights
- Junior Youth of the Year participant interviewed by Greg Lemke-Rochon, CEO
- “Brave” by Sara Bareilles performed by the Boys & Girls Club of Menasha Dance Team
- “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers performed by Boys & Girls Club of Kaleidoscope Academy
- “Superwoman” by Alicia Keys performed by Kala Lones and accompanied by Bradon Wiggins
A heartfelt thank you to our Youth of the Year hosts, Shannon Bazinaw and Tim Temby, Board of Directors; and judges Mike Weller, Renee Torzola, Courtnay Rettler and Angela Skrobutanas.
Thanks to our Sponsors
Thank you also to our sponsors for supporting the program and providing these young people with educational scholarships.
- Fox Cities Party Rental
- A-mazing Events
- Eleven 1 Designs
- UW Oshkosh Fox Cities Campus Communication Arts Center
- The Marq