Boys & Girls Club of New Haven, LOCAL Youth of the Year has been named!


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Z’hane Ellison set to receive college scholarship and vie for regional title this summer

New Haven, Connecticut April 28, 2017 – Selected among five other outstanding youth, Z’hane has been named the Youth of the Year by Boys & Girls Club of New Haven for second timeThe Youth of the Year title is a prestigious honor bestowed upon an exemplary young person in recognition of leadership, service, academic excellence and dedication to live a healthy lifestyle. Now in its 70th year, the Youth of the Year program honors our nation’s most awe-inspiring young people on their path to great futures and encourages all kids to lead, succeed and inspire. Z’hane will go on to vie for the Connecticut Youth of the Year title and a $5,000 college scholarship from Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

“I am honored to be selected again to serve as Youth of the Year for my Club.   I am looking forward to being a voice for my peers.”  Z’hane Ellison.   “The Youth of the Year candidates make me incredibly proud each year.  I know their stories and how much each of them has overcome to reach their goals.  It also highlights the impact of our work with youth and their families.  The parents and staff are beaming with pride each year.  These young people truly inspire all of us.”  Stephanie Barnes, CEO.

Z’hane has been a Club member at the Boys & Girls Club of New Haven for over three years.  Though she started off as a shy and reserved young lady, Z’hane has matured into a confident young woman.  “My experience at the Boys & Girls Club of New Haven continues to help my sisters and I grow and improve our leadership skills.”  Z’hane comes to the Club each day to mentor the younger members. She enjoys facilitating the Fashion Club, a fashion design workshop for Club members she created.  Z’hane is a committed member of the Keystone Club, which is a leadership program for teens which provides opportunities to participate in activities that focus on Academic Success, Career Preparation and Community Service.  Z’hane is a senior at Sound School in New Haven, where she continues to receive high honors.  She was recently accepted to several colleges and has decided to attend the University of New Haven in the Fall of 2017 to major in their Biology and Pre-Med program.

Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Youth of the Year recognition program is presented by Disney, who has supported the youth advocacy organization for more than 50 years, empowering young people to reach their full potential and providing youth with access to the tools they need to build the great futures they imagine. Toyota, the Signature Sponsor of Youth of the Year, is dedicated to inspiring the next generations of engineers, thinkers and leaders who will help drive the American economy. Additional support is provided by University of Phoenix, a committed partner who has worked with Boys & Girls Clubs of America on many Academic Success initiatives, and the Taco Bell Foundation, Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s premier partner for teen empowerment.

If Z’hane Ellison wins at the state competition, she will compete for the title of Northeast Region Youth of the Year and an additional $10,000 college scholarship, renewable for four years up to $40,000. Five regional winners will advance to Washington, D.C. in September 2017, to compete for the title of Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Youth of the Year. The National Youth of the Year will receive an additional scholarship of $25,000, renewable each year up to $100,000 and will have the opportunity to meet with the President of the United States in the White House.

For more information about the Youth of the Year program, visit

About The Boys & Girls Club of New Haven
The mission of the Boys & Girls Club of New Haven is to “Inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.” Its goal is to provide children and teens with a safe positive fun place to learn and grow. It seeks this goal and fulfills its mission through delivery of five major programs: After School, Summer Vacation Camp, The Club for Teens, Weekend Kids Club, and competitive Sports programs.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America ( has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, more than 4,100 Clubs serve nearly 4 million young people annually through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun, friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Priority programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at and


New Haven Register- City Teen Named Youth of the Year for Boys & Girls Club of New Haven

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