‘The World Deserves to Hear Your Story’: Regina Martinez Named Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta’s 2021-2022 Youth of the Year
Annual Fundraising Gala Raises $930,000+ for Youth Development Organization
“I am proud to be a Mexican immigrant, someone who is a persistent, determined, and hardworking human being. In life, I was given the opportunity to grow in a safe space: my home: But later, when I saw the painful reality of my country, I felt like success wasn’t achievable. And then, when I came to America, I joined the Boys & Girls Club, where they showed me that everything that I needed and more could be found within myself.” ~Regina Martinez, 2021-2022 Youth of the Year, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta
With a smile that could fill the entire Coca-Cola Roxy theater full of 450 applauding guests (and more than 100 via Livestream), Regina Martinez gleefully accepted her new title: 2021-2022 Youth of the Year for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta (BGCMA).
For two consecutive years, Regina has represented the A. Worley Brown Boys & Girls Club at the local level. In 2020, she made it to the semi-finals for Metro Atlanta. In 2021, she earned BGCMA’s highest honor.
“I want all of you guys to know that despite where you come from, your background, your age or anything, nothing can stop you from being who you are,” said Regina shortly after being named BGCMA Youth of the Year. “Remember that the most important thing is your voice. The world deserves to hear your story, what you’ve been through and where you are now.”
A16-year-old senior at Duluth High School, Regina has been a proud member of the A. Worley Brown Boys & Girls Club in Gwinnett County since 2017. Her proud Mexican roots and story of triumph have fueled her ambitious zest for life and success. Regina has not allowed life circumstances to hinder her from obtaining internships, leadership roles within her Club and ultimately becoming the Youth of the Year for BGCMA. Regina’s love for science and mathematics have driven her career aspirations to become a biomedical engineer and build prosthetics and medical equipment.
“I am proud to be a Mexican immigrant, someone who is a persistent, determined, and hardworking human being. In life, I was given the opportunity to grow in a safe space: my home: But later, when I saw the painful reality of my country, I felt like success wasn’t achievable. And then, when I came to America, I joined the Boys & Girls Club, where they showed me that everything that I needed and more could be found within myself,” said Regina in her YOY speech.
As BGCMA’s Youth of the Year, Regina was awarded a $3,000 college scholarship; in the spring of 2022, she will represent Metro Atlanta as Youth of the Year at the statewide competition.
This year, 15 inspiring teens from Boys & Girls Club locations throughout Metro Atlanta participated in the 2021 Youth of the Year Gala, held Friday, Nov. 12 at the Coca-Cola Roxy and via Livestream. Themed “Breakthrough Stars,” the event raised $932,000 (and counting!) and featured live entertainment, remarks from community leaders, and dynamic speeches from YOY finalists. As the culminating moment, Regina was announced as BGCMA’s Youth of the Year for 2021-2022. Elias Dennis, a sophomore at Elite Scholars Academy who represented the Flint River Community Center Boys & Girls Club in Clayton County, was named runner up.
“We are so proud of all of our candidates and excited to welcome Regina as Youth of the Year for Metro Atlanta,” said BGCMA President & CEO David Jernigan. “It gives me such hope to see kids and teens like Regina with a strong vision toward the future using their voice to strengthen their communities and the world.”
Youth of the Year is a character and leadership program open to all Club members aged 14-18 who demonstrate exemplary academic achievement, leadership skills, and service to the community. Each year, local Clubs select one member as its Club-based Youth of the Year. With help from dedicated Club staff and community mentors, Youth of the Year candidates fine tune their interviewing, networking, writing and public speaking skills in preparation for the culminating gala. Through outstanding programming, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta focuses on helping young leaders thrive in life and strengthen the futures of their communities and the world.
BGCMA is thankful for the support of all individual and corporate sponsors, including Global Payments who served as presenting sponsor of the YOY Gala and Bank of America who served as presenting sponsor of the Livestream.
To watch a play back of the Livestream, please visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=82UF0f7XGS8.
It’s not too late to support BGCMA’s Youth of the Year character and leadership development program. For more information on YOY and ways to give, please visit https://e.givesmart.com/events/lnb.