Through mentorship, teenagers thrive in Money Matters and much more
Teenagers everywhere face similar challenges. Aside from the typical life challenges that being in one’s teens has presented for generations of us, many teenagers also struggle with other pressures – from socio-economic to personal. For many young people, the Boys & Girls Clubs have provided invaluable mentorship and guidance, creating new leaders in communities where they are often desperately needed.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, 800 such leaders came together to celebrate at the 12th Annual Charles Schwab Youth of the Year Luncheon, where eight teenagers who have distinguished themselves through their commitment to their communities and financial education were honored for their accomplishments.
The Youth of the Year Program acknowledges the remarkable lives of young people who have overcome personal challenges and distinguished themselves through outstanding contributions to family, school, community and their local Boys & Girls Club. Each of the Program finalists honored at the luncheon will receive a college scholarship and the winner receives a $10,000 scholarship and advances to a statewide competition.
By participating in financial education programs like offered by Boys & Girls Clubs in partnership with Charles Schwab Foundation, teens are empowered to make financial decisions as they seek to become future leaders.
Peter Crawford, Charles Schwab’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, is a board member of the Boys & Girls Clubs San Francisco (BGCSF) and Youth of the Year Luncheon co-chair, and was on hand to honor the finalists. “I’d like to congratulate Kionna as this year’s San Francisco Citywide Youth of the Year winner and applaud all our finalists for their exceptional work and dedication to their financial futures,” he said. “We are inspired by Kionna’s commitment to academic success, community service, and financial education. Kionna’s story of determination exemplifies why Schwab is honored to support Boys & Girls Clubs in helping our country’s youth take steps toward a secure financial future.”
San Francisco Citywide Youth of the Year: Kionna F.
A senior at Leadership High School, Kionna has been a member of the Sunnydale Clubhouse for 10 years. Her experience with BGCSF opened the doors for her to take part in programs including My Brother and Sister’s Keeper Youth Council and Mercy Housing Youth Leadership Initiative. Her future goal is to be an advocate and give back to her community.
Each of this year’s finalists has a remarkable story:
- David R. – A proud first-generation Latino American and senior at Leadership High School, David has been a member of Excelsior Clubhouse for four years. During this time, he has participated in programs including Money Matters and the Citywide Planning Committee for the National Keystone Project: Bridging the Divide Between Youth and Law Enforcement. After graduation, he plans to study political science or criminal justice and become an immigration lawyer.
- Poppy G-Z. – A senior at Academy of Arts and Science High School, where she serves as student body vice president, Poppy has been a member of Camp Mendocino for 12 years. Programs like Money Matters and Leadership in Training (Club LIT) have inspired her to want to study political science and become a congresswoman.
- Kenny V. – A senior at George Washington High School, Kenny has been a member of the Tenderloin Clubhouse for nine years. Through programs like Money Matters and Club LIT, he has developed strong leadership skills and eventually plans to become a sports agent.
- Adriano M. – A senior at Galileo High School, Adriano has been a member of the Visitacion Valley Clubhouse for two years and has been involved with the Teen Staff program and career exposure events. Through BGCSF, he was able to explore his love of science and keep his grades up with the help of Homework Club. After graduation, he plans to pursue a degree in engineering/computer science.
- Erica S. – A senior at Leadership High School, Erica has been a member of the Willie Mays Clubhouse for 12 years. She credits the College Prep Program and Career Exposure events for helping her find her path. She plans to attend a Historically Black College and become a counselor to help others.
- Kionna F. – A senior at Leadership High School, Kionna has been a member of the Sunnydale Clubhouse for 10 years. Her experience with BGCSF opened the doors for her to take part in programs including My Brother and Sister’s Keeper Youth Council and Mercy Housing Youth Leadership Initiative. Her future goal is to be an advocate and give back to her community.
- Masiyah E. – A senior at Gateway High School, Masiyah has been a member of the Columbia Park and Willie Mays Clubhouses for 10 years. Through BGCSF’s school-based club, she was connected to opportunities at her school, including the Gateway Internship Program and Business Pathways. She plans to become a web developer.
- Terrell D. – A senior at City Arts and Tech High school, Terrell serves as president of the Queer & Straight Alliance Club and has been a member of the Ernest Ingold and Don Fisher Clubhouses for nine years. He has participated in opportunities including Club LIT and Basketball League, which has inspired his dream of becoming a sports photographer and wrestling commentator.
For Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, president of Charles Schwab Foundation and board chair elect of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, financial literacy is a passion as well as a mission. “Financial literacy is an essential life skill for all young people that they will carry with them throughout life,” she says. “The finalists this year are outstanding examples of ‘financial role models’ among their peers. They are remarkable young leaders and will continue to play an essential role by sharing their knowledge among peers, family and community.
“Through Money Matters, we are committed to championing financial education within local Boys & Girls Clubs across the country – and especially in my hometown of San Francisco.”