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Smith earns Youth of the Year

Smith earns Youth of the Year

Posted: Friday, April 29, 2011 9:23 pm

Smith earns Youth of the Year | Nakeia Smith, Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Tennessee-Union City Youth of the Year

Nakeia Smith

The Messenger 04.29.11

Nakeia Smith, daughter of Teresa Miles of Dyersburg and Dannie Roy and Deborah Smith of Union City, is the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Tennessee-Union City Youth of the Year.
Miss Smith recently represented the local club at the 2011 Youth of the Year competition in Nashville, where she competed with 15 other young men and women for the highest honor that can be earned in the organization.
The state winner earned the right to go on to the national competition.
“Nakeia did an excellent job representing our organization at this year’s Youth of the Year competition in Nashville. I look forward to watching her continue to succeed at our local club and in life,” said club director Tracy Boucher of Union City.
Miss Smith began the competition at the local level by submitting a nomination packet that included character reference letters from teachers, family and fellow church members. The application also included two essays explaining what being part of Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Tennessee-Union City means to the senior at Union City High School.
Two finalists had their packets forwarded to three members of the board of directors for the local club and the panel gave the nod to Miss Smith.
“The Youth of the Year process is an opportunity for our clubs to show off the outstanding young people we serve each day. We were fortunate to have Nakeia represent our organization and show the state of Tennessee what awesome young people we produce,” said Ron Green, chief professional officer of Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Tennessee.
During her trip to compete in Nashville, Miss Smith enjoyed several adventures. On the first day of the competition, she joined other candidates for dinner at the Hard Rock Café in downtown Nashville, followed by a fun night of Lazer Tag.
Breakfast on Tuesday of that week was served at CMT (Country Music Television) studios. Club members then received a tour of the Country Music Hall of Fame.
The afternoon hours were devoted to the delivery of speeches focusing on what membership in Boys & Girls Club of America meant to each participant. One-on-one interviews with the judges in the competition followed and then it was on to a Nashville Predators hockey game, along with chaperones.
Wednesday featured a visit to “The Hill,” where the teens met their state legislators and expressed their appreciation to them for their efforts. Lunch at the historic Hermitage Hotel and the announcement of the Youth of the Year for the Volunteer State followed.
Miss Smith received a special medal marking her achievement as a finalist in the prestigious event.
Miss Smith has been a local club member for six years and enjoys mentoring younger club members. A former “Teen of the Month” at the club at 1015 East College St. in Union City, she is also involved with the organization’s Step Team and participates in the SMART Girls program. She looks forward to special events, parties, guest speakers and interaction with the staff at the club and finds opportunities there to pursue some of her hobbies, which include singing, drawing, dancing, “stepping,” doing crossword puzzles and socializing.
At UCHS, she is a member of the award-winning band and was this year’s assistant drum major and the main attraction or the “work of art” for the competition performances. She has also earned Solo and Ensemble honors and has been a member of the track and basketball teams.
A member of Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church, she is the youth choir assistant and also sings in the church choir.
Miss Smith plans to attend the University of Tennessee at Martin and major in nursing.

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