What do a girl from New Mexico, a boy from Kansas and a girl from Germany all have in common? These three teens from various Boys & Girls Clubs across the world have all received the opportunity of a lifetime – four-year, full tuition scholarships from Marquette University. Marquette, located in Milwaukee, Wis., partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs of America last year to offer scholarships to Club teens who have been selected as Youth of the Year winners.
Being named Youth of the Year is the highest honor bestowed on a Boys & Girls Club member. The title recognizes outstanding contributions to a young person’s family, school, community and Boys & Girls Club, as well as personal challenges and obstacles overcome. Applicants for the Marquette scholarships must also have met the university’s admission criteria.
The inaugural class of Marquette/Youth of the Year scholarship winners, all age 18, are: Tamara Johnson, Pueblo of Pojoaque Boys & Girls Club (Albuquerque, N.M.), and Ryan Allen, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City Wyandoth County Unit (Kansas City, Kan..) – both who were Youth of the Year at the local level – and Amaya Hamilton, Ramstein Youth Programs (Ramstein AFB, Germany), who is the 2010- 11 Youth of the Year for all of Europe. “We are extremely grateful to Marquette University for recognizing the accomplishments of Tamara, Ryan and Amaya,” said BGCA President and CEO Roxanne Spillett. “We know they will do Marquette, their local Clubs, families and Boys & Girls Clubs of America very proud.”
Marquette President Robert A. Wild, S.J., praised the Youth of the Year winners for their academic and leadership success and their service to their Clubs and communities. “These young adults are already demonstrating what it means to ‘Be the Difference,’” he said. “We are looking forward to having them join our Marquette family and inspiring those who follow them in their Clubs to pursue a college education. We hope that this partnership will grow to involve more students across the country, supporting Marquette’s long tradition of educational access.”
Each scholarship, renewable for four years, is valued at more than $120,000. The national partnership between the university and Boys & Girls Clubs of America had its roots in a local partnership. When Marquette University created an Urban Scholarship program several years ago, two of the 10 annual, full-tuition scholarships were designated for members of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee.
In fact, a recipient of a 2010 Urban Scholarship, Tommy Walls of Milwaukee, Wis., is one of five finalists for BGCA’s National Youth of the Year title for 2010. Walls, originally from Detroit, was fi rst named Youth of the Year for the Mary Ryan Boys & Girls Club in Milwaukee, then named Youth of the Year for the Greater Milwaukee organization, the State of Wisconsin and BGCA’s Midwest Region. The National Youth of the Year winner will be named next month. As an Urban Scholarship winner, Walls will receive a full-tuition scholarship from Marquette.
Two other Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year winners will also attend Marquette this year. They are: Allyson Aderman from Menominee, Mich., who received an Ignatius Scholarship, and Arisbet Escalante from Hill City, S.D., the recipient of a Magis Award.
Miami HEAT and former Marquette basketball star Dwyane Wade will be in Milwaukee Aug. 30 to welcome the Youth of the Year winners to Marquette. Wade, through the Wade’s World Foundation, provides support to community- based organizations that promote education, health and social skills for children in at-risk situations.