SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– A sophomore at Parkview High School is Missouri’s Youth of the Year for Boys and Girls Club.
Juliette White won the award two months after she was named Springfield’s Youth of the Year.
In each competition, she wrote essays about her life – and how she uses her experiences to help others. White received $20,000 in college scholarships from both awards.
“It feels really good knowing that I did so well and that I’m representing so many other kids that are like me,” White said.
White wrote three essays for the Boys and Girls Club state competition. She talked about the challenges she faced growing up – like her parents suffering from substance misuse.
“I lived with my grandparents,” White said. “I never really lived with my parents.”
One day, White’s grandparents made her a Boys and Girls Club member.
“The club was here to support me,” White said. “They were like that family that I never really kind of had. I was struggling with my home life a lot and when I would come here it would get a lot better. I was struggling with school and the Club helped me get my grades back up and just dealing with a lot of at home kind of family stuff.”
The Musgrave unit helped her become the person she is today – someone who gives mental health advice to others.
“When I give advice to people I try to get them to just trust the process and just try to stay as positive as you can because I try to take the positive out of every situation.”
After winning the state honor, she will now compete for the Midwest Regional Award – White could get another $20,000 college scholarship.
If she wins that, she’ll compete for the national award – a $50,000 scholarship and a new car would be at stake.
“If I don’t win, that’s okay. To me, it’s not about the money at all. It’s never been. Growing up I didn’t have it, I don’t have any sort of attachment to it. So for me, those human connections are more important than anything.”
White says the Missouri House of Representatives, Senator Roy Blunt and Governor Mike Parson congratulated her.
She says she hopes she can help more people, because she needed somebody there for her growing up.