A brilliant young 17-year old Senior at Benton Harbor High School emerged this afternoon as the winner of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Michigan Youth of the Year for the entire state of Michigan, ahead of a dozen other contenders for the title, and will head next to regional competition from throughout the Midwest later this summer.
17-year old Tekeidra Masters, who earlier this year on February 13th earned the title of Youth of the Year for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton Harbor for 2020, finished at the top in the statewide competition today. Unfortunately, due to the current pandemic, that competition was conducted virtually, instead of the usual big event held in the Detroit area each year.
Tekeidra was selected by a panel of eight judges from across the state, finishing ahead of 12 other winners from clubs in Muskegon, Kalamazoo, Troy, Flint, Holland, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Lenawee, Southeast Michigan, the Great Lakes Bay Region, Alpena and the DAR.
Representing Benton Harbor, she was the winner today, while second place went to Miles from Southeast Michigan, third place to Kaitlynn from Troy, and 4th place to Ariana from Lenawee.
Tekeidra is in the top 15 in her class with a 3.6 GPA and is a member of the Honor Roll. She is on the volleyball, softball, and track teams, and is an active member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton Harbor, participating in SMART Girls and Diplomas to Degrees.
She works part-time at Burger King and volunteers in community clean-up efforts at local parks. Tékeidra plans to attend a four-year historically black college or university to earn her Bachelor’s degree in Biology, followed by medical school with the goal of becoming a neurosurgeon.
She took to Facebook video this afternoon after being declared the State of Michigan Youth of the Year title to thank the City of Benton Harbor, the club executive Brian Saxton, her mentors “RJ and John Sams, for making sure I was the best version of me today,” as well as everybody who has supported her, and especially her family. She promised, “This is only the beginning, and I love you guys!”
Through who work with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton Harbor, Tékeidra continues to work toward seeking solutions to help give back to her community, and has said, “I promise to be the voice against bullying and I pledge to be the voice for the unheard because the Boys & Girls Club did the same for me.”
Congratulations Tekeidra…and best of luck in the upcoming regional competition for the Midwestern United States.