At 9 years old, Asha Haddox-Rossiter quickly found a sense of community at her local Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, calling it her “chosen home” ever since.
“My club wasn’t just a safe, affordable after-school option for my parents, it opened up doors of possibility and shut the windows of my insecurities,” said Haddox-Rossiter, a sophomore majoring in public management, leadership and policy at the Glenn College, where she also is a student assistant for the student services and programs team. “The table was set, and I had a seat, not because of who I was, but because of who I was becoming,” she said.
Often recognized for her outstanding work in leadership, volunteering and advocacy, she found a special passion for addressing the issue of food insecurity with local food pantries in the Washington, D.C, metropolitan area. In fact, in the last year, Asha served meals to over 400 families a week, reminding her that she can always make a local impact to global issues.
“I believe it is our responsibility to make sure that all our young people are getting an equitable experience when it comes to career opportunities, food insecurity and education,” she said.
As the highest honor a club member can receive, the National Youth of the Year represents Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the voices of over four million club youth it serves. Haddox-Rossiter was selected from among six finalists for the prestigious honor, which she received Oct. 13 in Los Angeles at the organization’s 75th anniversary celebration of the Youth of the Year program.
Aspiring to be the future President of the United States, Haddox-Rossiter is working closely with the D.C. City Council to address key issues in her local community and beyond.
“I am honored to be recognized by Boys & Girls Clubs of America as the 2022-2023 National Youth of the Year,” said Haddox-Rossiter. “This role presents me with an opportunity to not only represent kids and teens across the nation, but to exemplify what’s possible when young people are given access to safe spaces, caring mentors and life-enhancing experiences that empower us to reach our full potential. I know I am capable of anything that lies ahead, and I am determined to make a difference.”
The star-studded award ceremony included a performance from American Idol winner and Grammy-nominated singer Ruben Studdard, who sang with youth from Boys & Girls Club of Greater Westfield, and honored country music artist and Boys & Girls Clubs of America supporter, Kane Brown, with the 2022 Champion of Youth Award in recognition of his commitment to serving young people. Other attendees and advocates included Emmy Award-winning actor Courtney B. Vance, Entertainment Tonight co-host Nischelle Turner, American singer and songwriter Miguel, WWE Superstars Titus O’Neil and The Miz and Oscar-winning costume designer and Boys & Girls Clubs alumna, Ruth Carter.
Read the latest edition of Public Address, the Glenn College magazine.