Northern California’s Youth of the Year Finalist: Brianna Benson!

Northern California Youth of the Year finalists

Northern California Youth of the Year finalists, representing 13 Boys & Girls Clubs in the region.

We are proud to announce that Brianna Benson has made it to the next round of the Youth of the Year competition! Last Thursday, she was selected as one of three finalists from among a field of 13 finalists to represent Northern California.

Thousands of youth throughout the region competed for the prestigious honor, which celebrates the remarkable lives of Boys & Girls Clubs members who have distinguished themselves by rising above challenging circumstances.

Brianna won the Citywide Youth of the Year competition in January, and is now one of three members who will move on to the Statewide competition in April.

Northern California Youth of the Year finalist Brianna Benson (left), with BGCSF president, Rob Connolly, and 2010 CA State Youth of the Year, Winnie Phan

A Leader is Born

Brianna has risen above some tough challenges.

Abandoned by her biological mother, in and out of homeless shelters much of her childhood, and with little support from family or friends, Brianna said she often thought, “No one cares about me. People would be better off without me.”

But, Brianna’s cousin introduced her to the Visitacion Valley Clubhouse . “I became part of the Teen Staff program and started to socialize with other teens and expand my comfort zone. I grasped the true meaning of a sincere friendship.”

Brianna also enrolled in some college prep classes and met with Clubhouse mentors to talk about career options. No one in her family had gone to college, but today, Brianna has been accepted to 4 universities.

Youth of the Year for Northern California - Brianna Benson

Standing Ovation

We couldn’t be more proud of Brianna. She, like many of our youth, come to our Clubhouses to take advantage of some great programs and services, but end up giving back to the Clubhouse and their communities tenfold.

Thank you Brianna–for your courage, inspiration and leadership!

Help Us Kickstart More Bright Futures

We are raising funds to help youth like Brianna plan for and attend college. Our low-income members often cannot cover the cost of their college application fees.

Click here to learn how you can help…

Written by Ian Gardiner - All stories by Ian