Romonia Dixon Named 2010 Arizona State youth of the Year < Return to News

TEMPE TEEN NAMED BOYS & GIRLS CLUB STATE YOUTH OF THE YEAR 

Romonia Dixon to Compete for Regional Title With Hopes of an Oval Office Visit

Phoenix, Ariz – April 13, 2010 – 18-year-old Romonia Dixon of Tempe was named Boys & Girls Club State Youth of the Year at the 10th Annual Arizona Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs Legislative Breakfast presented by the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on the morning of Tuesday, April 13.   Dixon, a four-year member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley’s Ladmo Branch in Tempe takes home a $1,000 scholarship from Readers Digest an $1,800 scholarship from the Fiesta Bowl, $1,000 scholarship from Tupperware and a $2,000 scholarship from Darden Restaurants.  Additionally, Dixon has already received a $20,000 educational fund from The Victoria Lund Foundation, a supporter of the East Valley Youth of the Year Banquet.  

For much of Dixon’s life, her family moved from city to city and homeless shelter to shelter.  Her family was split up several times just so each person could have a warm place to lay their head for the night.  There were times when shelters were full and the sidewalk was their resting place.  Her story is inspiring and engaging to other younger girls as she takes every opportunity she has to teach them about the importance of being a responsible, caring and productive member of society.  She is part of a “Read to Me” volunteer program for kids at a shelter where she once lived. She organizes canned food drives and makes sure the park next to her Boys & Girls Club is clean. Romonia is third in her class at Tempe High School with a 3.92 GPA, is the captain of her varsity basketball team and a member of the National Honor Society.  She will attend Arizona State University where she has already been accepted into the Barrett Honors College and has also been accepted into the professional program at the W.P. Carey School of Business. She wants to obtain a Masters in International Retail Management and Marketing and open up her own business some day.  

The event’s three semifinalists include 17 year old Christian Rodriguez of Scottsdale, 18 year old Marcus Barnett of Phoenix and 17 year old Juliet Lace Yardy of Tucson.  The remaining five candidates include:  Lincoln Kennedy, a former NFL Pro Bowl football player, Fox Sports Radio host and Boys & Girls Clubs alumni was the event’s keynote speaker and spoke directly to the candidates.  Judges for the 2010 competition included Marc Martinez, Reporter/Anchor for Fox 10 News; LuAnn Leonard, Arizona Board of Regents Member; Chuck O’Conner, Fiesta Bowl Board Member; Kerri Raichert, Governor Brewer’s Office for Children, Youth & Families and Angela Woods, Director of the Darden Foundation.    

After the legislative breakfast, Dixon and other candidates visited the State Capitol where Dixon led the pledge of allegiance on the Senate floor.  Dixon is now preparing for the regional competition to be held in July at Disneyland.  The regional winner will then advance to the National Youth of the Year competition in Washington, D.C. in September and meet President Barack Obama in the Oval Office.  

Sponsored by Reader’s Digest and Darden Restaurants, the National Youth of the Year program is designed to promote and recognize service to the community and Club, academic performance and contributions to family and spiritual life.  The five regional winners will each receive a $10,000 in educational scholarship from Reader’s Digest and the overall national winner will receive a $15,000 educational scholarship. 

The Arizona Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs Youth of the Year competition has produced regional and national winners.  One of those regional winners, Donald E. Smith from the Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley, captured the national title in 2002.  Coincidently, Smith attended the same Club as Dixon.  For more information or for photo requests, contact Mindee Padilla at mindeep@clubzona.org or 480.820.3688.

About the Boys & Girls Clubs Arizona Alliance
The Boys & Girls Clubs Arizona Alliance (http://www.azabgc.org) is made up of 21 organizations comprising 72 Clubs across the state.  Clubs offer programs and services that promote and enhance the development of boys and girls by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging and influence.  Boys & Girls Clubs in Arizona serve over 140,000 kids each year, and that number continues to grow.  Boys & Girls Clubs are a safe place to learn and grow -- all while having fun, making it truly The Positive Place for Kids.

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