NC Youth of the Year
Sarah Parker: 2016 North Carolina Youth of the Year
Sarah Parker is a senior in North Henderson High School and has been one of the top performers and achievers in recent years at the Boys & Girls Club of Henderson County. She has earned some of the organization’s highest honors, including Youth of the Year and Junior Staff. She has earned additional awards for her high academic achievement, her leadership and character, and her service to community.
Sarah stands out for her resiliency in the face of extreme family obstacles. She is the oldest of four siblings to a single mother. She has moved 17 times in the past 18 years, constantly searching for home. In the face of poverty, homelessness, hunger and more, she never assumed the role of victim or hopelessness. Once she found the Boys & Girls Club, she says she finally found “home.” How she got to this stage in life, fully intact and engaged in school and club at the highest levels, proves that she is a remarkable person destined for “big things.”
For the past two years Sarah has worked as a junior staff employee at the Boys & Girls Club, playing a positive role in guiding and mentoring younger members. Prior to that, she was a top volunteer, especially in the club’s elementary school art program. An artist herself, she found her special talents drew out special talents in the young members she worked with at the club. As part of her employment now, she continues to work with art programs, Power Hour and assists with a variety of recreation and life skills programs. She has always been among the most mature in her peer group. She treats everyone fairly and kindly, and is respected by all.
In the club’s SMART Girls program, Sarah earned a lead role in assisting other girls in the program and was ultimately named the club’s SMART Girls Ambassador. As Ambassador, she spoke at public events and assisted with weekend trips with club girls. At the Boys & Girls Club, she is in the top leadership and service group, Keystone Club, serving as vice president. She is expected to maintain top grades, serve her community through volunteerism, be a role model to younger members and maintain the highest standards of character.
At school, Sarah is an A student in advanced placement classes and is in the National Honor Society. She still finds time in a busy schedule to participate in DECA and Spanish Club. Sarah will attend Berea College in KY as winner of the Pinnacle Scholar Award for Excellence in Service.