RaShaan Allen, a WKU freshman from Fort Knox, has been named the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s first Military Youth of the Year.
Allen, a member of the Hilltopper football team and son of Army Sgt. 1st Class Crystal Singer, was recognized Sept. 13 at a reception at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial in Arlington, Va. A member of Devers Youth Center in Fort Knox, Allen will receive a $20,000 scholarship and serve as BGCA’s official youth advocate for military teens.
Allen also was one of six finalists for the National Youth of the Year award who met with President Obama and attended a congressional breakfast Wednesday (Sept. 18) in Washington, D.C., for the announcement of the national award recipient. The 2013-14 national winner was Kiana Knolland of Wichita, Kan.
This is the first year BGCA has held a military youth competition in its Youth of the Year program. To earn the Military Youth of the Year honor, Boys & Girls Club youth served on military installations must advance through local, state and regional competitions—demonstrating how they have achieved academic success, and made outstanding contributions to their family, school, community and BGCA-affiliated youth center, while overcoming personal obstacles.
Allen, who named Midwest Military Youth of the Year earlier this summer, credits the Devers Youth Center with helping him as he slowly healed from the loss of his home, neighborhood, school and best friend during Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. He served as co-president of the Youth Council and led the group to a national Boys & Girls Clubs of America award. He was an Army Family Action Plan delegate, sharing with Fort Knox leaders his insights about issues that affect teens.
At Fort Knox High School, Allen played eight varsity sports and captained six of those teams. He also competed on the math and history bowl teams and served as president of both his freshman and senior classes. He was elected governor at Kentucky Boys State, a program focused on state government.
Allen plans to major in political science at WKU and eventually seek political office.
Read more about Allen’s award at http://www.militarytimes.com/article/20130913/NEWS/309130031/From-troubled-teen-youth-year and http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=120778
Contact: Tonya Archey, (270) 745-5837.