American Ballet Soloist Misty Copeland Named National Youth of the Year Ambassador for Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Copeland joins BGCA to count down for naming one national teen spokesperson to represent American youth
ATLANTA, Aug. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- American ballet soloist Misty Copeland's "great future" began as one of six children living with a single mom in a motel room, not with dreams of becoming a trailblazing black female soloist at the American Ballet Theatre. Those dreams began at age 13 when Copeland joined the Boys & Girls Club of San Pedro, Calif., and now she's partnering with Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) to ensure similarly "great futures" for other young people through the National Youth of the Year program.
BGCA recently named Copeland as its new celebrity ambassador for the National Youth of the Year program, which is sponsored by Tupperware Brands. The program recognizes Boys & Girls Club youth who have remarkable stories of triumph, academic success and community leadership in the face of tremendous challenges. The title of National Youth of the Year is the highest honor a young person can achieve. Copeland's first order of business as the national ambassador was to launch the 2013 "Countdown to National Youth of the Year" during a series of regional events across the nation where six youth are selected to vie for the national honor in Washington, D.C. this September and have an exclusive meeting with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office.
"It is an honor to serve as the ambassador for this incredible recognition program that honors young people who come from circumstances similar to my own life," said Copeland. "I am extremely happy to give back to an organization that did so much for me. Because of my Boys & Girls Club, I was able to find my voice, and I hope to encourage these young people that they can do the same."
The young person who is selected as National Youth of the Year before celebrities and congressional leaders in September will serve as the official BGCA teen spokesperson, advocating for nearly 4 million Boys & Girls Club youth and all of America's young people during his/her year of service. The National Youth of the Year will receive more than $60,000 in college scholarships from Tupperware Brands and the Rick and Susan Goings Foundation, the personal foundation of Tupperware CEO Rick Goings, who has been an active supporter of the Boys & Girls Clubs for over 20 years, and his wife Susan.
"We are thrilled to have Misty Copeland as the new ambassador for our most prestigious program, Youth of the Year," said Jim Clark, president and CEO, BGCA. "Like many of our Youth of the Year, Misty was able to realize her full potential and great future with the help of caring, supportive staff at her Boys & Girls Club. Misty and all the Youth of the Year are shining stars and living proof that great futures really do start at Boys & Girls Club."
To learn more about the National Youth of the Year program and to meet the finalists as they advance to the national event in Washington, D.C., visit www.greatfutures.org/YOY.
About Misty Copeland
When Misty Copeland encountered her first ballet class at 13, she was too shy to participate. The volunteer instructor at her local Boys & Girls Club in San Pedro, Calif., took her by the hand and drew her in – and Misty began dancing in the gym. Copeland joined American Ballet Theatre's (ABT) Studio Company in September 2000 and then joined ABT as a member of the corps de ballet in April 2001. In August 2007, she was appointed the first African-American Soloist with ABT in two decades.
Today, at 30 years old, Copeland is a prominent advocate for engaging more minorities and underprivileged youth in ballet. She has extended her dancing abilities outside the ballet studio as well, including dancing with renowned musician Prince.
As the National Youth of the Year Ambassador, Copeland will join BGCA and Tupperware Brands in naming the new 2013-14 National Youth of the Year in September on Capitol Hill. Over the next year, Copeland and the new national teen spokesperson will also address various groups on important youth issues and the role Boys & Girls Clubs play in changing young lives.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, more than 4,000 Clubs serve nearly 4 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Learn more at http://bgca.org/facebook and http://bgca.org/twitter.
About Tupperware Brands Corporation
Tupperware Brands Corporation is a portfolio of global direct selling companies, selling innovative, premium products across multiple brands and categories through an independent sales force of 2.7 million. Product brands and categories include design-centric preparation, storage and serving solutions for the kitchen and home through the Tupperware brand and beauty and personal care products for consumers through the Armand Dupree, Avroy Shlain, BeautiControl, Fuller Cosmetics, NaturCare, Nutrimetics, and Nuvo brands.
SOURCE Boys & Girls Clubs of America