Daughter of Wanda and Nathaniel McDowell, Jade has attended the Boys & Girls Club for four years and is a senior at Cherokee High School.
On Thursday, the 18-year-old attended the Youth of the Year dinner and awards ceremony for all metro Atlanta clubs at the Georgia Aquarium.
Youth of the Year is a year-round development program that honors Boys & Girls Club members as outstanding citizens and leaders. Each club selects one Youth of the Year winner to represent them. Selections are made based on a combination of academic achievement, leadership qualities and engagement in the club and community.
This year, 22 top members of Boys & Girls Clubs around metro Atlanta were honored and competed for the top title. Jade did not win, but said she thoroughly enjoyed the event.
“It was really great,” Jade said. “I got to meet people from a lot of different clubs.”
The event was themed “The Face of the Future” because all 22 Youths of the Year represent the future of metro Atlanta.
“My favorite part was being on stage and saying,‘I’m the face of the future because I’m a positive role model for future generations,’” she said.
Jade looks forward to continuing her involvement with the club throughout the rest of her senior year and beyond.
“The Boys & Girls Club is a family-oriented place and I love to go every day,” Jade said. “I love it. It’s everything to me.”
Cherokee High School Principal Debra Murdock said everyone at Cherokee could not be more proud of her.
“Jade has grown in confidence and leadership skills since working with the Boys and Girls Club,” Murdock said. “She is a tireless advocate for her friends, school and the club.”
Jade is a member of many different organizations, including the children’s mentoring program, where she works with special needs children in their homes. She also enjoys attending Fellowship of Christian Athletes meetings at her school. She is currently the president of the Keystone Club and plans to attend college and become an educator.
For more information about Youth of the Year, visit www.atlyouthoftheyear.org.