Skip to main content.

Georgia Power Helps Award 2024 Youth of the Year

On Tuesday, February 27, young people from every corner of the state gathered in Zoo Atlanta’s Savanna Room for a very special reason: to learn who would serve as the Boys and Girls Clubs’ 2024 Georgia Youth of the Year.

Now headquartered in Atlanta, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America dates back to 1860 when a group of women in Hartford, Connecticut, established the first club as a safe place for young boys who had been roaming the streets. This local institution eventually grew into a nationwide organization dedicated to providing children from all backgrounds with opportunities for personal growth, academic success and community involvement.

Established in 1947, Youth of the Year is Boys and Girls Clubs’ hallmark program – recognizing outstanding young people who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, academic excellence, and commitment to service within their clubs and communities. Applicants go through a rigorous selection process, culminating in regional, state, and national competitions where one young person is selected to become the national Youth of the Year.  The Youth of the Year program celebrates the achievements, drive, and potential of club members – empowering them to become future leaders and role models.

Representatives from nearly all of Georgia’s 26 Boys and Girls Clubs made the trip to Atlanta, as well as several from Boys and Girls Clubs-affiliated youth centers on Georgia’s eight military installations. Those who participated in the state competition were selected as Youth of the Year for their home clubs and spent the first day of their trip delivering speeches, interviewing with a panel of judges and getting to know one another.

Judges for this year’s competition came from a variety of professional backgrounds including tech companies and government institutions as well as several representatives from Georgia Power .

Georgia Power has a longstanding partnership with Boys and Girls Club, having provided support both to individual clubs across the state as well as the organization statewide for more than 25 years. For the past several years, the Georgia Power Foundation has supported the Youth of the Year program directly and impactfully, funding a $5,000 scholarship for both the traditional state Youth of the Year as well as the Georgia Military Youth of the Year winner.

This year’s winners were both high school seniors from outside the Metro Atlanta area. Military Youth of the Year was awarded to Joshua B. from King’s Bay Naval Submarine Base, while Augusta’s Nakayla E. will serve as the state’s traditional winner. Executive Director of the Georgia Power Foundation Rita Breen was on hand to announce each winner and present them with a plaque honoring their achievement as well as a $5,000 scholarship check.

“Boys and Girls Clubs are a great fit for Georgia Power Foundation’s philanthropy as we both support youth development and education across Georgia. The clubs provide a safe, positive, and engaging environment for young people, while preparing them for workforce and education beyond high school,” said Breen. “We are proud to partner with the Georgia Alliance of Boys and Girls Clubs to provide scholarships to the Youth of the Year at the state level, which help to inspire bright futures for these remarkable young people.”

Both winners will participate in the Southeast Regional Youth of the Year competition, which will be held in Atlanta in May. The winners of that contest will go on to the national competition, where they have an opportunity to be recognized by the President of the United States, awarded $25,000 in scholarships and even a new car.

Today, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America continues to uphold its mission of enabling young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens, and the Youth of the Year program serves as a testament to the organization's enduring impact on generations of youth across Georgia, as well as the country.