BENTON HARBOR, Mich., Aug. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- America gets a chance to vote for some of the most-dependable youth in the country as the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and Maytag brand have announced the five finalists in the 2014 Maytag Dependable Leader Awards. The Dependable Leader Awards recognize Boys & Girls Club members who are committed to making a difference as dependable and exceptional role models.
The winner will receive a $50,000 grant, of which, $20,000 will go to them in the form of a scholarship; and the remaining $30,000 will help his/her Club provide educational assistance for Club members and/or staff. The Maytag Dependable Leader Award allows Maytag brand to give back to Boys & Girls Clubs professionals, Club youth and volunteers who continue to give tirelessly of themselves to the Clubs and the youth they work with.
People across the U.S. are encouraged to select the Maytag Dependable Leader Award winner by voting online at dependableleaders.com. The 2014 finalists are:
- Brian Juarez, Age 17, Watts/Willowbrook Boys & Girls Club, Los Angeles, Calif. – As part of the Boys & Girls Club's national Teen Suicide Awareness Project, Brian shared his battle with depression in his Club's Public Service Announcement, "Start the Story." A bit of a shy guy, Brian's come out of his shell since joining the Club three years ago. When the Club's purse strings were tightened, Brian stepped up and offered to help the new Executive Director, Chantez Pratts, as her volunteer Executive Assistant – one of the most important roles at the Club.
- Rebekah Koen, Age 18, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Alabama, Birmingham, Ala. – Rebekah is a volunteer Counselor in Training at her Club. Despite her own struggles with homelessness, Rebekah saw pre-teen girls struggling with their image and self-confidence so she created "Girl Talk," a program designed to give girls ages 11-14 a forum to share their feelings and get support from their peers. She also serves as a member of the Keystone Club, a group of teenagers who serve their community by working to make it a cleaner, safer and a better place to live.
- Billy Narvaez, Age 17, Wakeman Boys & Girls Club, Bridgeport, Conn. – Gifted in math and science, Billy developed the Future Engineers Club to give members fun, hands-on activities that just might spark their interest in engineering and physics so they, like him, will strive for bigger things beyond what they see in Bridgeport. Billy not only runs the Saturday Film School and Future Engineers Club, but he funds these programs out of his own pocket, illustrating to younger members another way of giving back to the community.
- Ruby Smith, Age 16, Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Ind. – Ruby wrote and received a grant to create and implement a literacy program called "Look In a Book" in which teen members teach literacy skills to members ages 5- 10. Teens read aloud to small or whole groups of young members, helping them begin their literacy development by building vocabulary and comprehension skills. The goal of the program was to help them pass the English Language Arts portion of the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress. All 2013 participating members passed the exam and progressed to the next grade level.
- Jhacori Stacy, Age 16, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Chattahoochee Valley, Columbus, Ga. – Jhacori is the creator of the project, "Food, Food, Everywhere but not a Drop to Eat," which shed light on the struggles of families/individuals that receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The project introduced SODEXO employees at Total System to families/individuals who live in public housing and formed a relationship that has lasted for two years and counting. Every Friday since April 2012, 50-60 families/individuals have been coming to Jhacori's house to receive meals.
"These five nominees are tremendous young leaders and inspirations to the children and adults they work with," said Maytag Brand's Laura Somers. "America will get a chance to learn more about each one of these special individuals and vote for who they think is the most dependable leader."
Starting at 12:00 a.m. (EST) on Aug. 25 through 11:59 p.m., Sept. 19, people can visit dependableleaders.com to learn more about each of the five finalists and the exemplary work they are doing in their communities. They can then vote for the finalist that they believe stands out as a Maytag Dependable Leader. Voting is limited to one vote per email address per day.
"America's Vote provides a truly engaging way to showcase and honor the work that Boys & Girls Clubs professionals, Club youth and volunteers are doing every day to help youth across the country achieve great futures," said Jim Clark, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. "We are excited to see each of the finalists' local Clubs and communities, as well as people across the U.S. rally around these exceptional leaders to select the final recipient of the Maytag Dependable Leader Award and grant."
Boys & Girls Clubs provides services and support to enable youth to reach their full potential as high-performing adults. With a heritage of dependability dating back more than 100 years, the Maytag brand mission is to build high-performing products consumers can count on. The partnership between Maytag brand and BGCA seeks to recognize and promote dependability – a quality that is at the core of what the Club's staff and volunteers do every day and is central to Maytag brand.
About Maytag Brand
For more than a century, Maytag brand appliances have been synonymous with dependability and durability. Through the commitment of Whirlpool Corporation, Maytag brand's enduring tradition of quality production and powerful performance continues to thrive. Exceptionally durable, commercial-grade components are found in many Maytag brand appliances – including Maytag® Maxima® front-load and Maytag® Bravos® top-load washers and dryers, as well as Maytag® Jetclean® dishwashers with PowerBlast™ cycle. In January 2014, the Maytag brand introduced America to the Maytag Man – a dependable machine and the human embodiment of the durability, reliability and power inside all Maytag brand appliances. In addition to creating durable appliances, Maytag brand is also a reliable partner to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America in their effort to support communities across America and help young people achieve great futures. Maytag brand is part of Whirlpool Corporation, the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of approximately $19 billion in 2013, 69,000 employees, and 59 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world. For more information on Maytag brand, please visit Maytag.com or find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Maytag or Twitter at @MaytagBrand or @TheMaytagMan. Additional information about the company can be found at Whirlpoolcorp.com.
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 4,100 Clubs serve nearly 4 million young people annually through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun, friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Priority programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at http://www.bgca.org/facebook and http://bgca.org/twitter.
SOURCE Maytag Brand