Romonia Dixon wins National Youth of the Year < Return to News

GREAT FUTURES START HERE: EXCEPTIONAL ARIZONA TEEN SELECTED AS BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF
AMERICA’S NATIONAL YOUTH OF THE YEAR

Mona Dixon Receives nearly $120,000 for College, Meets Today with President Obama

ATLANTA, September 15, 2010 – Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) announced its 64th National Youth of the Year today at a Congressional Breakfast on Capitol Hill. Five outstanding teens from across the nation rose through the local, state and regional levels to make it to Washington, D.C., to compete for the honor, and it was Mona Dixon, a five-year member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley in Tempe, Ariz., that took the title.

As National Youth of the Year, Dixon received up to $87,000 to attend college. Tupperware Brands Corporation is now the sole sponsor for the National Youth of the Year program.

On a local level, Dixon received $30,000 in scholarship money; $20,000 coming from the Victoria Lund Foundation, a supporter of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley plus other local donors including the Fiesta
Bowl which underwrites the Arizona Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year Competition. 

Dixon and the other finalists spoke on the topic of what their Boys & Girls Club means to them before a star-studded audience. Among the attendees were BGCA’s national spokesperson Denzel Washington,  and Grammy-award winning entertainer and Boys & Girls Club alumna Ashanti. At the awards event, Tupperware Chairman and CEO Rick Goings announced that Ashanti will serve as the first-ever ambassador for BGCA’s Youth of the Year
program.

Dixon’s first two official duties as the new National Youth of the Year occur right away as she participates in a press conference this morning featuring Washington, where the two will join in addressing the high school dropout crisis in America. Her second duty is meeting with President Obama in the Oval Office, a dream come true for Dixon.

For much of Dixon’s life, she and her family were in a constant state of change, moving from one homeless shelter to another in city after city. Her family was often separated on a daily basis to ensure that everyone had a
warm place to sleep each night. Although her family received assistance to attain living space at one point, it was only temporary. These difficult and challenging experiences led Dixon to seek out a place that she could call “home.”

Five years ago, Dixon found a place to call home when she joined Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley. From her first day at the Club, she took advantage of every available opportunity to teach younger children about
the importance of being responsible, caring, productive members of society. To help ensure her family’s continued stability, Dixon contributes to family income by working part time. She believes in turning setbacks in life into
motivators to succeed and uses her story to inspire others.

Dixon strongly believes in community service and is a member of Keystone Club, a leadership and service group for teens. She also organized food drives, maintained the park next to her Club and participated in “Read to
Me,” a volunteer program for children at a shelter where she once lived. 

Last spring, Dixon graduated third in her class at Tempe High School with a 3.92 GPA. She was also captain of the basketball team and participated in the National Honor Society, Stand and Serve (a peer leadership
group), Student Council and the Math Team. Dixon is currently a freshman at Arizona State University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business.  She plans to get her masters in International Business.  

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (www.bgca.org) has enabled young people, especially those who need Clubs most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, some 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs serve more than 4.2 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs can be found throughout the country and on U.S. military installations worldwide, providing young people 6-18 years old with guidance-oriented character development programs conducted by trained, professional staff. Key programs emphasize leadership development; education and career exploration; community service; technology training; financial literacy; health and life skills; the arts; sports, fitness and recreation; and family outreach. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta.

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