Boys & Girls Club of Rochester announces 2022 Youth of the Year
(ABC 6 News) – Aryahna Thompson has been named the Youth of the Year by Boys and Girls Club of Rochester.
This title is given to an exemplary young person who shows the qualities if leadership, service, academic excellence, and dedication to live a healthy lifestyle.
Aryahna is a senior at Stewartville High School and is currently a dance instructor at the club. She tells ABC 6 News that she dreams of one day opening her own dance studio, “I’ve been dancing here for a long time making many new friends and I just created bonds here and many friends with the staff and the club members and its very important to me to show people that I can be a leader and that they can follow me and that I am there for them.”
Aryahna will go on to contend for the Minnesota Youth of the Year title and a chance to win a scholarship from Boys and Girls Club of America.
The Boys and Girls Club of Rochester issued this press release:
Rochester, MN, February 3, 2022 – Selected among 4 outstanding youth, Aryahna Thompson, has been named the Youth of the Year by Boys & Girls Club of Rochester. 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 live a healthy lifestyle.
Now in its 75th year, the Youth of the Year program honors our nation’s most awe-inspiring young people on their path to great futures. Aryahna will go on to contend for the Minnesota Youth of the Year title and a $2,500 college scholarship from Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
Chad Campbell, CEO of Boys & Girls Club of Rochester shares his excitement for Aryahna’s achievement. “Aryahna has been a part of our Club since she was little, and she’s been a leader and mentor to younger Club members for quite some time already. Her efforts have only grown through the course of the pandemic. We’re so proud and excited to have her represent our Club,” said Chad Campbell, Chief Executive Officer, Boys & Girls Club of Rochester.
Aryahna is currently in her senior year at Stewartville High School and is taking an Intro to Business class as one of the beginning steps of her dream to one day open her own dance studio. Her passion for dance and choreography comes naturally as Thompson shared that she began dance classes at Club when she was 6 years old. As she got older, she became a dance instructor at Club. Thompson noted that when the pandemic struck and only a few members were allowed to come to Club, dance class was moved to a virtual platform. Thompson shares, “Virtual dance was certainly a challenge to me, but I didn’t give up on anyone. I used my free time to choreograph dances and teach them to everyone through a screen. At times it went smoothly and other times, not.” Thompson plans to stay connected with Club after graduation, even intending to volunteer in the dance program to “instill the same passion in the future youth of Boys & Girls Club of Rochester.”
In the speech Aryahna gave during the contest, she stated, “Coming from a single parent household has created challenges in my life, but the Club has helped by showing me that I’m not the only one to face these challenges. The friendships and the bonds that I have made at the Club, with members and staff, has shown me what it is to face adversity and conquer it.”
If Aryahna is named the Minnesota Youth of the Year, she will contend for the title of Midwest Regional Youth of the Year who will receive an additional $20,000 college scholarship. Six finalists will advance to the National Youth of the Year event in Los Angeles in September 2022, to vie for the title of Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Youth of the Year. The National Youth of the Year will receive an additional scholarship of $50,000 and a brand-new Toyota Corolla.
A special thank you to our judges this year; Senator Carla Nelson, Kara Gyarmaty and James “Coach Rob” Robertson, and our Presenting Sponsor of Youth of the Year, Kara Gyarmaty-Edina Realty. We appreciate their time and support of the great futures we are building here at Boys & Girls Club of Rochester.
Boys & Girls Club of Rochester is celebrating 22 years of service to youth in the Rochester, MN Area. The mission of Boys & Girls Club of Rochester is to empower all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring community members. We are an out-of-school program, open after school and during summer when kids need us most. Membership is open to youth from Kindergarten through Grade 12, with programs for kids and teens tailored to their specific educational and health needs. Boys & Girls Club of Rochester uses four core areas to achieve our goals, Academic Success, Character & Leadership, Healthy Lifestyles, & The Arts. Boys & Girls Club of Rochester is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization.