Romonia Dixon Named 2010 East Valley Youth of the Year < Return to News

TEMPE TEEN NAMED EAST VALLEY BOYS & GIRLS CLUB YOUTH OF THE YEAR
17 Year Old Romonia Dixon Receives More Than $20,000 for ASU Education

Tempe, Ariz – March 2, 2010 – Romonia Dixon has just been selected as the East Valley Youth of the Year for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley.  The East Valley Youth of the Year Banquet was held the evening of Monday, March 1 at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theater in Mesa.  Dixon won a $20,000 scholarship on behalf of the Victoria Lund Foundation, a long time supporter of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley.  She will receive $5,000 a year for four years through the fund.  Dixon was among nine East Valley candidates competing for the East Valley Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year title.  Candidates were selected from each of the organization’s branches, they include the following:  “Every year we are proud to introduce the cream of the crop at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley,” said president/CEO Ramon Elias.  “The candidates go through several weeks of public speaking and interview training which lead them right to this extraordinary event.”  Aside from the $20,000 Victoria Lund Education fund, Dixon was also awarded a laptop, a $600 scholarship from Maricopa Community Colleges, $500 from the Tempe Diablos and a $1,000 scholarship through the Joe Henderson Memorial Fund, a former member of the Chandler Compadres. The remaining nine candidates also received about $2,000 in scholarship money each. 

A senior at Tempe High School, Dixon is on her way to graduating third in her class.  She has been a member of the Boys & Girls Club for more than four years.  She is also the captain of her varsity basketball team, a member of the National Honor Society, Stand and Serve (a peer leadership group), Student Council, Black Student Union, Math Team, D. E. C. A. and a meditation group at school.  

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.  That is why giving back to her community has become very important to Dixon.  She has turned each of her life’s setbacks into motivation to succeed in life.  Her story is inspiring to other young 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 homeless shelter she once called home.  She also organizes canned food drives and makes sure the park next to her Boys & Girls Club is clean. 

Romonia 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.

Dixon will go on to compete against other Boys & Girls Club members at the state level.  The State Youth of the Year Legislative Breakfast presented by Fiesta Bowl will be held Tuesday, April 13 at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown.  If Dixon wins at the state level, she could potentially advance to Washington, D.C., in the fall to compete for the title of BGCA’s National Youth of the Year. The National Youth of the Year receives an additional $15,000 Reader’s Digest scholarship and is installed by President Obama in an Oval Office ceremony.  

The East Valley competition was presented by Brock Auto Supply.  Other major sponsors included Maricopa Community Colleges, Intel, Hoag Family Trust, Cox Communications, Chandler Compadres and the Victoria Lund Foundation.  All proceeds raised at the event benefit the organization’s scholarship program, helping former Club members go to college and trade schools.  For more information on how you can contribute to this scholarship fund, please contact, Cindy Zak at cindyz@clubzona.org or 480.820.3688.

About the Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley
The Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley (www.clubzona.org) serves more than 30,000 children and teens annually, and continues to grow to meet the needs of today’s youth, providing a positive place for all kids and teens. Serving members in Apache Junction, Chandler, Gilbert, Guadalupe, Mesa, Tempe, Queen Creek, and the Gila River Indian Community, programs are offered after school and during the summer and provide youth and teens, ages 6 – 18, with fun and educational activities, supervised by professional staff.  The organization also runs Mesa Arts Academy, a K-8 charter school.  The Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley’s annual membership fee is only $20 dollars a year and financial assistance is available.  No child is ever turned away if they are unable to pay the fee.

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