Darvonette Johnson, a senior at Franklin Military Academy is The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club 2017 Youth of the Year. Johnson received the honor by exemplifying characteristics of community involvement, leadership, compassion for others, and strong moral character.
“When I first came to The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club I was a quiet and shy little girl who kept to herself,” said Johnson as she addressed the panel of judges representing Spice Rack, Church Hill People’s News and I Vote for Me. “The Club has helped me blossom into an outgoing, determined leader who loves helping my community and the people around me. I’ve become a better person thanks to the staff at the Club.”
Since 1947, Youth of the Year has been the Boys & Girls Club of America’s premier recognition program, celebrating extraordinary achievements of Club members. Each year, Boys & Girls Clubs across the country select a Youth of the Year from their selective Clubs. The competition is a premier recognition event for Club members, promoting to the club, community and family, academic success, public speaking ability, life goals and strong moral character.
Two members of The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club in Richmond’s East End competed for the 2017 honor, with Johnson taking the top honor over Ty’wann Jackson, a junior at Armstrong High School.
“Darvonette exemplifies the critical impact of the Club on the lives of young people and will be a great representative for The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club at the state Youth of the Year competition in Norfolk,” explained The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club executive director, Hugh Jones. “Youth of the Year participants embody the values of leadership, service, academic excellence and healthy lifestyles. Through the Youth of the Year program, young people are able to showcase their talents and achievements, share their hopes and dreams, and work toward a bright and positive future.”
Johnson has been a member of the Club for four years and is the president of the Keystone Club.
Johnson will work with Club Council members to prepare to compete against other youth from Boys & Girls Clubs across Virginia and Washington, D.C. for the distinction of State of Virginia Youth of the Year in early April.
For over 95 years, The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club has had a positive impact on Richmond children through core programming in Education/Career, Character & Leadership, Health & Life Skills, Arts, Sports & Fitness, and Morality & Values.