The 2023 Youth of the Year for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Lanier, Jaiyah Stringer, was named runner-up for the Boys & Girls Club of Georgia’s Youth of the Year title out of nearly 30 teenagers competing from around the State.
Hosted at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in downtown Atlanta on Monday and Tuesday, Jaiyah was able to share her story of how the Boys & Girls Club has impacted her life.
Selected among three outstanding local youths, Stringer was named the Boys & Girls Clubs of Lanier’s Youth of the Year for the second consecutive year. Along with the title, she was awarded a $2,500 scholarship from the Duane Hinshaw Scholarship Fund for having demonstrated determination and excellence as a Club member.
The organization says that the prestigious Youth Of the Year title recognizes a young person who demonstrates leadership, service, academic excellence and dedication to live a healthy lifestyle.
Locally, the Youth of the Year program is supported by a grant from the Clipper Petroleum Foundation.
Stringer has been enrolled at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Lanier since she was eight years old. Jaiyah is currently finishing up her Senior year at Gainesville High School as an AP and Honors student. She serves her community by serving as Secretary of the Keystone Club, frequently volunteering at Meals On Wheels, and serving 10 hours a week at a local shelter for battered and abused women. She also works as a Youth Development Professional for Boys & Girls Clubs of Lanier’s Afterschool program.
Stringer commented on the impact the club has had on her life in a press release saying:
“I was at a point where I didn’t know how life would look for me,” she said. “But being a daily member helped me realize that the constant crushing weight of the world is enough to make anyone want to quit. Even me, I was worth saving just as the other struggling youth in my community are. I want to continue to be the voice for youth in my community who are struggling and want to be heard.”
Stringer said she lives by the quote “Strength does not come from what you can do, it comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t,” which is attributed to Rikki Rogers.
The organization said Jaiyah is passionate about mental health and plans to attend Fort Valley State University to pursue a career as a Social Worker.