Photo courtesy of King County Boys and Girls Club
“The Boys & Girls Club saw potential within me even when I didn’t see it in myself…the Club gave me the power to take on a leadership role in my community, in my Club, and in my own life,” said Bender

Imani Bender wins Boys & Girls Clubs of King County’s 2014 Youth of the Year

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Boys & Girls Clubs of King County

Nearly 250 business leaders and youth advocates joined at the Washington Athletic Club (WAC) on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 for Boys & Girls Clubs of King County’s premiere youth recognition event: Youth of the Year. Imani Bender, a member of the Ballard Club, was named the winner.

“I want to congratulate Imani Bender on being named King County’s 2014 Youth of the Year. It was a difficult choice – the judges really wrestled with a tough decision because all 11 nominees are phenomenal teens. These are kids who are determined to succeed, and they have the full support of Club staff to help them along the way,” said Calvin Lyons, President/CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of King County.

In total, 11 exceptional teens from Boys & Girls of King County’s branch Clubs competed for the title. Each candidate was judged on leadership qualities exhibited through service to the Club, community, and family; their respective essays; life goals; values and moral character; academic success; and poise and public speaking.

Imani Bender, a member of the Ballard Club, walked away with the winning title and a $2,000 education scholarship. Says Imani, “The Boys & Girls Club saw potential within me even when I didn’t see it in myself…the Club gave me the power to take on a leadership role in my community, in my Club, and in my own life. Thus everything I am and everything I will ever be is rooted in the foundation that the Club gave me.”

Imani will go on to compete in the Washington State Boys & Girls Clubs Youth of the Year competition on March 19th, in the hopes of advancing to the regional event and then the national competition. Bender, a 10-year member of the Ballard Club, is a natural leader, an honor student, a varsity basketball player, and president of Ballard’s Keystone club. She aspires to major in psychology.

Youth of the Year 2014 was made possible by Presenting Sponsor, Microsoft. Event sponsors include: Princess Cruises, Washington Athletic Club, Macy’s, Jim Mora Count on Me Family Foundation, and media sponsor, Dex.

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