For over 70 years, the Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year program has honored and celebrated the nation’s most inspiring teens and their incredible journeys. Stories of outstanding leadership, service, academic excellence, and dedication to living a healthy lifestyle have made Youth of the Year America’s premier leadership and recognition program for teens. The amazing young people selected represent the voice and spirit of hope for America. Inspiring all kids to lead. To succeed. To inspire.

Each year, we have the distinct honor of selecting and recognizing a Youth of the Year from our Clubs. Picking one outstanding teen is always a very difficult decision, but it’s also really rewarding to see all that our teens have accomplished thus far in their young lives and to hear about their goals for the future.

Please join us in congratulating our 2022 Youth of the Year, Leona Pham.

Leona is a senior at NOVA Academy with a 4.0+ GPA who consistently excels in honors and advanced placement (AP) courses while being an active member of her school’s ASB program and the National Honor Society. The dedication to her academics has allowed her to gain enough credits for her to join her first year of college as a sophomore, jumpstarting her career goals early in her post-secondary education.

She has been described by her academic advisor as a goal-driven leader who challenges her peers to learn new opportunities, and is committed to making a difference in her community. As a member of her senior ASB class, Leona’s goal is create events that are outside the regular norm of school events, but are still culturally friendly to represent the needs of her peers.

A fourth year member of the Club’s College Bound program, Leona has yet to miss a workshop or an advisor meeting. College Bound has allowed her to be more confident in her decision making, explore different passions, and connect her to a community she did not know was available. As an active participate of the Club’s weekly food distributions, Leona has assembled hundreds of produce bags to distribute to families that are food insecure in her community.

Growing up, Leona gained the value of materials and recycling. Her passion for helping the environment and reducing waste led her to implementing a permanent recycling program on her campus when she became the president of the National Honor Society. As such, Leona plans to study biochemistry in college and focus her career in the environments of science and conservation and in forensic biology. Being Youth of the Year, her goal is to empower others to be environmentally conscious and begin the change within their communities

As the 2022 Youth of the Year, Leona received a $2,500 scholarship from our Club to use toward her education. We are excited to see what the future holds for him as he continues to pursue greatness.

Our College Bound program provides additional scholarships to help deserving kids pay for college. Want to be a part of it? Please consider making a gift. Thank you for helping us fulfill our mission to ensure every child has mentors and champions in life and for giving high school students a better opportunity to reach their GREATEST POTENTIAL!