For the first time, a Boys & Girls Clubs of West Central Missouri member has been named the Missouri State Youth of the Year winner. Jazzmine Jones, 17, will now go on to compete at the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Midwest Regional Youth of the Year competition, to be held in July.

“Jazzmine has overcome many obstacles in her young life to become a vibrant and well-rounded young woman,” said Cole Camp Site Director Tara Walker. “She’s a great role model for younger members and they really look up to her; we’re so proud of her.”

Jones is a member at the Cole Camp Site where she serves as a junior staff member, running programs and mentoring younger Club kids. She was named the state winner after a two-day event in Jefferson City where she competed in front of several judges, enjoyed spending time with her fellow YOY nominees and visited the Capitol Building.

“Jazzmine has a remarkable story of perseverance and courage,” said Executive Director Gary Beckman. “At such a turning point in her life, the Club was there for her when she needed it most. It’s encouraging to know Jazzmine fond her inner strength and identity that has transformed her life. The excitement is in what lies ahead for her.”

Youth of the Year is Boys & Girls Clubs’ premier youth recognition program which recognizes outstanding contributions to a member’s family, school, community and Club, as well as personal challenges and obstacles overcome. Winners receive scholarship funding for their future education and mentorship opportunities.