ARLINGTON, Va., Aug. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) named Natalia Lynch the 2014 Military Youth of the Year in a reception held at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial in Arlington, Va. A member of Wiesbaden Youth Center in Wiesbaden, Germany, Natalia will receive a $20,000 scholarship and serve as BGCA's official youth advocate for military teens across the country and abroad.
To earn the Military Youth of the Year honor, Club youth who are served on military installations advance through local, state and regional competitions—demonstrating how they have achieved academic success, and made outstanding contributions to their family, school, community and BGCA-affiliated Youth Center, while overcoming personal obstacles. Natalia was one of six military youth regional finalists selected to vie for the honor, which is supported by National Government Services Foundation and University of Phoenix.
"Just as their parents have dedicated themselves to defending our great nation and its values, we at Boys & Girls Clubs of America are committed to giving the children of our brave warriors the support they need," said Terrill D. McFarland, national vice president, Military & Outreach Services, Boys & Girls Clubs of America. "We are proud of everything military families do to keep our nation safe. The support we provide is a small but critical contribution to our military families and the sacrifices they make so that we can live in a free country."
Natalia was an active member of the Wiesbaden Youth Center, participating in and promoting a variety of artistic and cultural opportunities that are regularly offered through the Club. During her time at the Center she created her own band (Volition), which performed two years in a row at BGCA's National Conference. Natalia has also performed multiples times at Carnegie Hall in NYC with the Milal Missionary Choir and Orchestra. She attended high school in Germany and completed her Abitur (German high school diploma). While in school Natalia remained involved in the Club by working to bring German and American youth together through sponsorship events, music partnerships, teen-led city tours and joint-school activities. She also volunteered at American and German media outlets, working in radio, TV and newspaper media channels. Currently a freshman at Vanderbilt University, Natalia plans to pursue a graduate degree in Speech Language Pathology.
Military Youth of the Year is a component of BGCA's National Youth of the Year recognition program for Boys & Girls Club members. In September, Natalia will join five other finalists from state (off-installation) Clubs to vie for the National Youth of the Year honor and scholarship from Tupperware Brands Corporation, the official sponsor of the overall National Youth of the Year program. Five judges individually interview each candidate and select the national winner on the basis of scholastic achievement, community service, and leadership ability.
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. Boys & Girls 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 Boys & Girls Clubs of America