Boys & Girls Clubs of South Central Tennessee

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Introducing our 2024 Youth of the Year!

January 29, 2024 | Selected among 4 outstanding youth, Talajuwon Robinson of Giles County High School has been named Boys & Girls Clubs of South Central Tennessee’s 2024 Youth of the Year. The Youth of the Year title is a prestigious honor bestowed upon an exemplary young person in recognition of leadership, service, academic excellence, and dedication to living a healthy lifestyle. The Youth of the Year program aims to honor high school members who participate in the competition on their path to great futures.

Talajuwon will serve as an ambassador for all teens between Giles and Maury Counties, and will have the opportunity to compete against other BGC members at the Tennessee State Youth of the Year competition in March.

Robinson has been a member of his local Club in Pulaski for 3 years. He works hard in school and when he is not hanging out at his Boys & Girls Club playing basketball and socializing with friends, he also plays football for Giles Conty High School and works for our local Pulaski Parks & Recreation Department. Robinson, whose speech was titled “From Shyness to Strength,” highlights how his participation in the Club’s Garden Program as well as being asked to help lead Club events helped bring him out of his shell. He accredits his academic success to his foster parents, Michael & Lillian Howard, who always pushed him to excel in everything he does and got him involved in his local Boys & Girls Club.

“I want to be an example for other foster kids like me, so that they know it doesn’t matter where you come from- if you work hard, you can be successful,” says Robinson. “I want to advocate for those who are having a hard time to let them know that they are not alone.” Robinson says that over the next few years, he aims to graduate high school on time, and pursue being an entrepreneur, having his own mechanic shop. “For so long, I was uncomfortable with being vulnerable. Through my experiences at my Club, I got used to it. I learned it was okay to open up. Through my community of understanding mentors who believed in me and helped me grow personally, I went from being shy to now being courageous.”

“We are extremely proud of Talajuwon and all of the Youth of the Year participants,” said Giles County Executive Director Devon Yurko. “Being named Youth of the Year is a major accomplishment and a huge honor. Talajuwon will have the opportunity to serve as a spokesperson for Boys & Girls Club kids and teens across the area who need more role models that they can admire and emulate.”

Youth of the Year is Boys & Girls Club’s premier youth recognition program. YOY recognizes outstanding contributions to a member’s family, school, community, and Boys & Girls Club. Club members who participate in the Youth of the Year process must prepare a lengthy application, with essays detailing their Club experience/leadership accomplishments, their passions, as well as stories of personal growth. Participants then prepare a speech based off their essays and present their applications, essays, and speeches to a panel of judges.


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