Essence has been a Boys & Girls Club’s member for 10 years. Essence is currently a Junior at Lincoln Park Academy. Essence enjoys music, helping other, and dreaming of future business ventures. Essence wishes to attend college where she will pursue her degree in nursing and music so that she may one day be her own boss!
Essence believes that mental health awareness should be a more prominent strategy in helping communities heal. Essences states, “It is a privilege to be diagnosed with major depression and go to therapy, many people do not have the access to that.” She encourages her peers to speak to somebody else if they are feeling overwhelmed and create an action plan or goals for yourself. Essence wishes to be selected as Youth of the Year so that she may have a stronger voice in her community for her peers.
“Being at the Boys & Girls Club exposed me to opportunities that I did not know I could experience like; free college tours, leadership programs like Get TUF, B.O.O.M., and Keystone, scholarship opportunities, and so much more. Being at the Club helped me to become more reliable, helped me to manage my clinical depression, and made me more responsible. If it was not for the Boys & Girls Clubs, I am not sure I would have made it through my darkest times.” –Essence Thompson
Please congratulate Essence, our 2021 Percy Peek Youth of the Year! Stay tuned to our social media as we announce all five of our finalists!
Jameirez has been a Boys & Girls Club’s member for 4 years. Jameirez is currently a Junior at Fort Pierce Westwood-Marine & Oceanographic Academy and a staff member at our Garden Terrace Clubhouse. In his free time, Jameirez enjoys flying drones, playing video games, photography, and engineering. Jameirez wishes to attend college where he would like to earn a scholarship playing football so that he may study neurology.
Jameirez believes that the staff at the Boys & Girls Clubs can help mold and guide youth in the community, just like they did for him. Jameirez says, “The Club is like a family to me, a safe haven, a place where I am not judged by my past; rather pushed me to embrace my future.” Jameirez says that the Club has taught him many good lessons which he plans on one day passing along to someone else.
“When it comes to youth advocacy (…) a problem I see in the community is a lot of youth do not have somewhere safe to go where they can share with peers what they going on in their lives. I would like to invite more of the community into the Boys & Girls Club so that teens can share in fellowship in and grow together. Once one Boys & Girls Club is full, we should open another until all youth have somewhere safe to go. I will take what youth say and help lead the community to be stronger. A good leader is a good listener.” –Jameirez Daniels
Please congratulate Jameirez, our 2021 Garden Terrace Youth of the Year! Stay tuned to our social media as we announce all five of our finalists!
Malakii has been a Boys & Girls Club’s member for 3 years. Malakii is currently a Sophomore at Fort Pierce Westwood. Malakii enjoys working out, running and singing! Malakii would like to take his love of physical fitness into his career and become a United States Marine, so that he may serve his country.
Malakii believes that all youth should have positive adult role models in his/ her life. Malakii said, “I look at my Club staff, Mr. Jevon, like a father figure. My father was not in my life, but Mr. Jevon is. Mr. Jevon taught me things my dad did not care enough about me to do.” Malakii has faced many challenges academically and personally, and he accredits his experience with the Club to help him get to where he is now. “This time last year, I would never have imagined that I would be here today. I was facing a family tragedy and I was in a credit retrieval program. The Club has helped give me closure personally and support academically. Look at me now, I am now back on track with my grades, I am involved with JROTC, and track.” Malakii’s determination is truly an inspiration.
“The Club is a safe haven in the midst of a neighborhood that may not be the safest. I could have been easily caught up in the negative aspects of the community, if it was not for the Percy Peek Boys & Girls Club” –Malakii
Please congratulate Malakii, our 2021 Infinity Youth of the Year! Stay tuned to our social media as we announce all five of our finalists!
Elyse has been a Boys & Girls Club’s member for 2 years. Elyse is currently a Junior at St. Lucie West Centennial High School. Elyse enjoys playing soccer, watching sports, and solving puzzles. Elyse wishes to attend college where she will pursue her degree in law so that she may one day become a public defense attorney.
Elyse believes that many people are unfairly labeled, but those labels should not define who you are. Elyse says, “Before coming to the Boys & Girls Club, I dealt with a lot of depression and anxiety connected to my labels. At one point, I felt like I was losing myself. Then I started coming to the Boys & Girls Club. (…) My Club has empowered me to go out into my community and help other teens who are also adopted. I say to them that a label does not define you and stop feeling sorry for yourself.” In addition to standing up against unfair labels, Elyse would use her platform as Youth of the Year to help those battling depression and anxiety.
“The thing that I have always strive to do is help people. I think that my desire to help others comes from the amount of help I have received in my life. I have been through a lot but I know that I have received a lot of help as well. Dealing with anxiety and depression, I pushed many people away who tried to help me. The people who stuck with me have made the difference in my life. Now I want to become someone who will help others because I have been there and I know what they are going through.” -Elyse
Please congratulate Elyse, our 2021 Ken Pruitt Youth of the Year! Stay tuned to social media as they start the journey to become the 2021 Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County Youth of the Year
Talayeh has been a Boys & Girls Club’s member for 7 years. Talayeh is currently a Junior at Fort Pierce Central High School. Talayeh is a lover of the arts and enjoys singing, dancing, and creating her own masterpieces. Talayeh wishes to attend college where she will pursue her degree in law and dreams of one day becoming a State Attorney.
Talayeh believes that in order to end violence in our community that equality should be embraced and youth should be encouraged to love yourself and speak yourself. Talayeh asks youth to adopt the following quote by Kim Nam Jun of BTS into their mindset, “No matter who you are, where you’re from, your skin color, your gender identity; just speak yourself. Find your voice and find your name by speaking yourself.” Talayeh identifies the supportive relationships at her Boys & Girls Club as helping her speak herself and overcoming challenges she has faced in her life.
“It is not right to bully someone who has insecurities because all of us go through something. Whether you show it or not, at the end of the day everybody goes through something. I will help youth in my community by showing them that negative opinions of others do not matter because at the end of the day you are the one who matters in your own life.” –Talayeh Hills
Please congratulate Talayeh, our 2021 Chuck Hill Youth of the Year! Stay tuned to our social media as we announce all five of our finalists!