Posted: February 5th, 2019
On Thursday, January 31st, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis held its annual Youth of the Year Competition presented by HigherVisibility.
Five nominees, each representing their local Club, competed for the title of 2019 Youth of the Year. In front of 13 judges from the Memphis community, each nominee delivered a three minute speech that shared their Club experience, vision for America’s youth, and personal brand. After their speech, the nominees participated in a nine minute question and answer session in front of the judges, where they discussed their future education, career goals, ideas for a better city, and life experiences.
After a night full of inspiring stories, LaStacia Cloyd was named the 2019 Boys & Girls Club of Greater Memphis Youth of the Year. LaStacia has been a member of the John Dustin Buckman Boys & Girls Club for more than five years. She is currently a junior at Central High School and plans to enlist in the National Guard or Army Reserves to obtain a position in the medical field before attending Middle Tennessee State University to major in Athletic Training.
Youth violence prevention is an issue that LaStacia is passionate about. She hopes to decrease violence by teaching teens appropriate conflict resolution skills and providing them with productive alternatives after school, like attending the Boys & Girls Clubs.
LaStacia describes herself as an outgoing leader with a passion for songwriting. She has participated in many local spoken word competitions, where she turns her poetry verses into lyrics. LaStacia also joined her high school wrestling team this year, and even tried out for the football team! She believes that, “spoken word has helped extend my vocabulary; it has helped keep my mind open towards different forms of music, and also helped me improve my public speaking.”
As the 2019 Youth of the Year, LaStacia will represent Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis at the Tennessee State Youth of the Year Competition in Nashville next month. She hopes to inspire others in the community to embrace their individuality and not be afraid to show the world who they are.
“So who am I? I am the girl who will seldom ever be found in a dress or skirt. I am the one who is called different. I am a future songwriter. I am the girl who almost gave up because I thought writing about myself was the hardest thing in the world and really didn’t mean it as a hyperbole. I am the girl who overcame that obstacle. Although I may look and act like a typical tomboy, I possess qualities and dreams that go beyond what others think of me. I AM QUIRKY, ADEPT, COURAGEOUS! I AM ME!” – LaStacia Cloyd, 2019 Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis Youth of the Year.
Learn more about LaStacia and the impact that the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis has had on her life by reading her the three essays that she completed for the competition.
Thank you to our friends at HigherVisibility for sponsoring the 2019 Youth of the Year Competition!