Bessemer City High School senior Dalton Rowland has been named the 2016
Youth of the Year for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Gaston!
some heavy competition this year as three other Club members participated in
the Youth of the Year contest. Diamond
Williams, a junior at Bessemer City High School, was this year’s runner up,
followed by brothers Scott and Dustin Ford who attend Hunter Huss High
School. Each member gave compelling and
inspiring speeches for the judges, but Dalton’s ability to engage his audience
paired with his personal story of trials and triumph ultimately led to him being
selected as the 2016 Youth of the Year.
"The moment I walked
into the Boys & Girls Club I felt home…I felt important…I felt wanted…I
felt loved. Mrs. Mary put me in a
position to become a leader. The Boys
& Girls Club provided me with the tools I needed to become the successful
student I am today – tools such as anger management, time management,
scholarship opportunities and how to uphold myself to a high standard as a
young man by respecting myself and others.
Also through the Boys & Girls Club I have been involved in numerous
programs, including: Top Teens, Wise Guys, and Dancing For Future Stars. These
programs not only allowed me to use my talents, but to discover new ones as
well. They taught me how to be myself again.
I owe my life to the
Boys & Girls Club. I'm so much happier and I have a great job. I will be graduating this year and will be
attending Gaston College with the hopes of attending a four-year college to
study business. Thanks to the Boys & Girls Club I received several
scholarships. I still battle with depression and anxiety every day, but
thanks to the Boys & Girls Club it's a lot easier. I hope to one day give
back twice as much as they have given me. Thanks to the Boys & Girls Club
staff I know I will achieve a GREAT FUTURE.”
on to compete in the statewide competition in Asheville, North Carolina, where
he got to meet other aspiring Youths of the Year and even do some sightseeing
at the Biltmore Estate. Although he was
not selected as a finalist to move on to the regional competition, Dalton says
that the experience is one that he will never forget.
The Boys & Girls Club’s mission is "to
inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most in
Gaston County, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and
caring citizens.” The Club offers afterschool
and summer programs for youth ages 6 to 18 to ensure members achieve academic
success, practice good character and citizenship, and live healthy lifestyles.