Boys & Girls Club of Troy selects Youth of the Year
By Terry Oparka
Posted April 19, 2017
TROY — Athens High School freshman Katelyn Claxton, 14, has been a member of the Boys & Girls Club of Troy since she was in first grade.
“As parents, we needed some assurance for after-school care,” said Claxton’s mother, Rebecca. She said she and her husband, Kevin, both work in “pretty progressive fields” and wanted both of their daughters, Katelyn and Rachael, 11, to go to a location where people would “love and care for them.”
Katelyn Claxton was selected as the 2017 Boys & Girls Club of Troy Youth of the Year.
The Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year youth recognition program is the highest honor a Boys & Girls Club member can receive. The program encourages club members to reach their full potential by achieving academic success, leading healthy lifestyles and contributing to their communities, according to a prepared statement.
“She’s been an eight-year member,” said Boys & Girls Club of Troy Director Jim Adams. He said that the members can nominate themselves or someone else, and the senior staff selects the winner from the applications.
“She’s just a great kid,” said Boys & Girls Club of Troy CEO Jeff Evans. He recalled a trip that some of the members took to the Disney Store at the Somerset Collection, and Katelyn and Rachael let loose when the song “Let It Go” from the movie “Frozen” was played.
“She has such a strong personality. It’s pretty neat she’s a freshman and a varsity cheerleader at Athens High School,” Evans said. “We have a big talent show every year, and she’s the emcee. She just nails that stuff.”
Katelyn Claxton has volunteered in a number of roles throughout the club, including with soccer leagues, the running club and the Smart Girls program. Katelyn is a past winner of the Power Hour Student of the Month.
“I like it there,” Katelyn Claxton said. “It’s really fun.”
She said she especially enjoys playing soccer and basketball at the club. She said she’s enjoyed being part of the leadership program, where members team up with staff members to help out in various capacities.
“I’m really good with the kids,” she said. “I like to have conversations.”
She’s also volunteered with the Salvation Army, Detroit Hope Center, senior care centers and in her school. She hopes to attend the University of Michigan or Grand Valley State University and major in education.
Katelyn Claxton also was awarded a scholarship to participate in the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards leadership program April 21-23. She volunteers in the food pantries of various churches in the metro Detroit area and is active at her church, Family Victory Fellowship Church in Southfield.
“They want to take the time to get to know you,” she said of the staff at the Boys & Girls Club of Troy. “It’s a really nice place to go. I’m happy to be part of it.”
According to its website, the Boys & Girls Club of Troy “is a nonprofit youth development organization that provides educational and recreational activities, in addition to mentoring programs, to more than 1,200 children, aged 6 to 18, in the tri-county area of metropolitan Detroit. For nearly four decades, the club’s positive environment has enabled members to become responsible, self-reliant and caring adults.”
The Boys & Girls Club of Troy is located at 3670 John R Road. For more information about the club, call (248) 689-1687.
About the author
Staff Writer Terry Oparka covers Troy and the Troy School District for the Troy Times. Oparka has worked for C & G Newspapers since 2000 and attended Oakland University and Macomb Community College. Oparka has won an award from the Michigan Press Association and four awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, Detroit Chapter.
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