Story last updated at 3/4/2009 - 11:01 am
METLAKATLA - Megan Gunyah, a nine-year member of the Metlakatla Boys & Girls Club, has been named the Youth of the Year for the state of Alaska by Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA).
In addition to winning this prestigious title, Gunyah will also receive one year's tuition from the University of Alaska Anchorage, a $1000 scholarship from the Boys and Girls Club of Southcentral Alaska and a $1,000 scholarship from the Reader's Digest Foundation.
She is among hundreds of Youth of the Year winners across the country recognized by Boys & Girls Clubs of America for her sound character, leadership skills and willingness to give back to the community.
Being named Youth of the Year is the highest honor a Boys & Girls Club member can receive. The title recognizes outstanding contributions to a member's family, school, community and Boys & Girls Club, as well as personal challenges and obstacles overcome. This program was founded more than 60 years ago through the Reader's Digest Foundation.
Gunyah regularly assists younger club members during Power Hour, a homework help and education program. She also works as a junior staff member at the club during the summer, and she helps staff with SMART Girls, a health & life skills program for girls. Additionally, Gunyah volunteers for a variety of community events, such as dances and potlatches.
At Metlakatla High School, Gunyah participates in volleyball, basketball and cross-country running. A 4.0 student, she is also involved in student government and Academic Decathlon.
Gunyah has expressed serious interest in a career as a physical therapist. She plans to obtain her Associates and Bachelor Degrees at the University of Alaska Anchorage, then move on to the University of Washington for further specialization.
This summer, Gunyah will compete against other youth from states located in BGCA's Pacific Region. If named regional winner, she will be awarded a $10,000 college scholarship and advance to the national competition in Washington. The National Youth of the Year receives an additional $15,000 college scholarship and will be installed by President Barack Obama during a ceremony in the Oval Office.