Troy Athens High School sophomore Matt Wojda was selected as the 2014 Boys & Girls Club of Troy Youth of the Year. Wojda will now compete against members of other Boys & Girls Clubs in the state for the Michigan Youth of the Year title and a $1,000 college scholarship from Tupperware Brands Corporation.
As the 2014 Youth of the Year honoree for the Boys & Girls Club of Troy, the 15-year old Wojda is among hundreds of teens across the country being recognized by Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) for sound character, leadership skills and willingness to give back to the community.
BGCA’s premier youth recognition program, Youth of the Year is the highest honor a Boys & Girls Club member can receive. The program encourages Club members to reach their full potential by achieving academic success, leading healthy lifestyles and contributing to their communities.
"We are so proud to have Matt representing the Boys & Girls Club of Troy as its 2014 Youth of the Year,” said club director Tom Gorman. "Matt has been a fixture here at the Club for a long time, and his presence adds so much to the positive daily experience of our members and staff.”
Wojda, who has been a member of the Boys & Girls Club for five years, enjoys playing basketball and attending Late Nights at the Club while also finding time to be a role model and advisor to peers and younger members, assisting with homework or offering advice. Matt has also shown initiative in helping new members acclimate themselves to the Club by showing them around and introducing them to other members.
His experience in the Leaders in Training program last summer – helping with programming, joining staff meetings, etc. – will likely prove to be a good first step to Matt joining the Club’s Junior Staff and perhaps eventually becoming a full-fledged staff member, as he has cited as a goal which will allow him to "pay it forward” and give others a chance to enjoy the same positive experience. His long-term objectives include pursuing higher education at Oakland Technical School and a career in construction technology.
The winner of the Michigan Youth of the Year title, which will be determined at a competition in April, will vie for the Regional Youth of the Year distinction 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 national title. 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 President Barack Obama at the White House.
Wojda successfully completed several initial steps in the Youth of the Year process, including an application and essay, as well as an opportunity to present a speech and receive feedback and advice from a panel of judges which included Kevin King, assistant professor and sports management program director at Madonna University, and Cindy Jacklin, owner of the Troy location of FitZone for Women.
The Boys & Girls Club of Troy is a non-profit youth development organization that provides educational and recreational activities, in addition to mentoring programs, to more than 1,200 children, ages 6 to 18, in the tri-county area of metropolitan Detroit. For nearly four decades, the Club has given youth a platform which allows them to develop into self-reliant, responsible, contributing members of the community.
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, some 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs serve nearly 4 million children and teens through Club membership and community outreach.