FORT BRAGG, N.C. - The Southeast Region, Youth of the Year celebration looks for the best and brightest youth leaders.

Hanha Hobson, 16, a junior at Massey Hill Classical School, has been recognized as Tolson Youth Activities Center Youth of the Year, said Annette Bennett, teen program director at the center.
Hobson is no stranger to youth leadership.

She attended last year's Installation Management Command Youth Leadership Conference forum in Norcross, Ga., after having been nominated by Child, Youth and School Services staff to represent Fort Bragg.

Hobson participated in the Youth of the Year Competition, in Rocky Mount, March 25 to 26, which is sponsored by the Boys and Girls Club of America, said Bennett.
"We had about 40 applicants, but she was the only one to submit a completed packet," Bennett said.

The application requested specifics about activities related to community and church service, as well as to school.

Local Boys and Girls Clubs of America recognize teens, ages 14 to 18, who promote service to the club, community and Family and who have strong moral character and life goals, according to its website. A state and a national youth of the year is chosen to receive scholarship money.

At this year's conference, Hobson said she went through an interview process with judges. She was asked about her volunteer activities and her experiences at Tolson. She told judges about mentoring younger children, working as a greeter at the front desk of the center and about being active in Tolson's Keystone Club, a Boys and Girls Club character leadership program.

"I enjoy giving back to the military community because they do so much for us," said Hobson. "We should do the same to help out the community."

After high school graduation, Hobson plans to continue her studies in biology, she said.
Until then, one advantage of having attended this year's Youth of the Year conference is that Hobson got to meet other youth from across the state who share similar military backgrounds, Bennett said.

Though Hobson did not earn Youth of the Year for North Carolina, She seems to encourage youth participation in the Boys and Girls Club.

"The Boys and Girls Club really does help unfortunate teens. They are trying to make a difference in people's lives," she said.

For more information about youth service programs on Fort Bragg, visit www.fortbraggmwr.com/welcomecenter.php.

Page last updated Fri April 1st, 2011 at 14:07