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Richards to Vie for State Title

Boys & Girls Clubs of Springfield is pleased to announce that Breanna Richards has been named the Youth of the Year. The 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 75th year, the Youth of the Year program honors our nation’s most awe-inspiring young people on their path to great futures. Breanna will go on to contend for the Missouri Youth of the Year title and a $2,500 college scholarship from Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

“I am so proud of Bre and all of the youth of the year participants. This premier recognition program gives us the opportunity to celebrate the countless Club youth who have worked so hard and have been such incredible ambassadors for Boys & Girls Clubs of Springfield,” said Brandy Harris, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Springfield. “I have been fortunate enough to know Bre for several years and seeing her grow into the advocate, student, friend, and mentor she has become is nothing short of remarkable. She is resilient, kind, and always willing to help others. She has been a part of the youth of the year process for a long time and her persistence and tenacity are a part of what earned her the title this year. We are so proud of you Bre!”

Breanna has been a member of the Stalnaker Unit since she was six years old. In her time as a member, she has participated in every Club program imaginable.

Most notably, Richards participated in the Boys & Girls Club’s diplomas 2 Degrees program, a program geared toward preparing Club Teens for post-secondary education. As a part of this program, she had the privilege of attending campus tours at Missouri State University, University of Missouri- Columbia, and College of the Ozarks. Breanna also participated in the Club's Youth Enhancement Opportunities (YEO) program. YEO is a nine-week program set up for Club members to learn valuable job skills and prepare them to enter the workforce while earning a wage.

Breanna Richards
Bre Prepares for 2022 Youth of the Year Interview

She also served as president of Torch Club, President of Keystone Club and was previously a Youth of the Year Finalist in 2020. Additionally, she won a black history month art contest.

As Keystone Club president, Breanna led the Club's community service project in planning and implementing a community health fair held at the Stalnaker Unit. While president, the Keystone Club also partnered with the Springfield-Greene County Health Department to prepare and distribute healthy meals to Springfield families. In total, this partnership distributed over 2,000 healthy meals per week.

Presently, Richards runs a non-profit business using her artistic skills to raise money for local charities.

"Every year I am amazed by all our outstanding young people! They truly show what it means to be a leader in our Clubs, schools, and community! Excited to see the next step for our winners and couldn't be more proud of all the work they have put into this process, said Niki Kiruki, Director of Programs and Prevention at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Springfield.

Great Futures Luncheon
BGCS team members celebrate Youth of the Year finalists

If Breanna is named the Missouri Youth of the Year, she will contend for the title of Midwest Regional Youth of the Year who will receive an additional $20,000 college scholarship.

Six finalists will advance to the National Youth of the Year event in Los Angeles in September 2022, to vie 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 $50,000 and a brand-new Toyota Corolla.

The Youth of the Year program is supported by Toyota and Mondelēz International. As the Signature Sponsor of Youth of the Year, Toyota is committed to partnering with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to ensure local Clubs provide life-enhancing opportunities for kids and teens to explore, develop and apply the essential skills they need to be successful in life and work. As the Lead Sponsor of Youth of the Year, Mondelēz International, will engage with local Clubs year-round to help foster a new generation of leaders prepared to live in and lead a diverse global economy. Youth of the Year representatives are the workforce leaders, innovators, and problem-solvers of tomorrow.

Youth of the Year Finalists
Youth of the Year finalists pose for a picture at our annual luncheon

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

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