PHOTO: Ijataque McClain, State Youth of the Year, with Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County Executive Director and Senator Jennifer Beck
MIDDLETOWN, NJ – August 1, 2013–Boys & Girls Clubs State Youth of the Year Ijataque “Tay” McClain was honored by Senator Jennifer Beck at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County’s annual golf outing at Navesink Country Club on July 29, 2013.
Senator Beck presented McClain with a proclamation acknowledging her educational accomplishments and her inspirational journey towards becoming the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County’s Youth of the Year and Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey’s State Youth of the Year.
Beck stated, “Tay is an exceptional young lady who has overcome many difficult challenges in her life to become an exceptional leader. She stands as a testament to the good work the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County is doing to make a difference in the lives of our community’s youth.“
Tay will receive a $20,000 scholarship from Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey and an additional $1,000 scholarship from Tupperware Brands, the program’s national sponsor. Thanks to the Melvin R. Goodes Family Foundation, she will also receive a $2,000 College Bound scholarship from Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County.
As the 2013 Youth of the Year for Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County and the State of New Jersey, 18-year-old Tay is a true example of an extraordinary young woman recognized for her sound character, leadership skills, and willingness to give back to the community.
Being named Youth of the Year is the highest honor a Boys & Girls Club member can receive. As BGCA’s premier youth recognition program, Youth of the Year recognizes outstanding contributions to a member’s family, school, community and Boys & Girls Club, as well as overcoming personal challenges and obstacles. Youth of the Year encourages Club members to reach their full potential by achieving academic success, leading healthy lifestyles, and contributing to their communities. Youth of the Year honorees are living proof that great futures start at Boys & Girls Clubs.
McClain commented, “The State Youth of the Year title and scholarship is important to me because they bring me one step closer to helping my dream become a reality.”
Tay hails from Neptune and recently completed her senior year at Red Bank Catholic High School where she earned a 3.2 cumulative GPA. Tay has been accepted to Georgian Court University’s highly competitive nursing program for fall 2013. Her career plan after graduating from Georgian Court University is to become an emergency room or pediatric nurse.
About Ijataque “Tay” McClain
Tay was born into a life lacking consistency and stability. The shakiness of her home life in Neptune continued throughout her early years and into middle school. At age 8, Tay became a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County (BGCM), where she quickly took advantage of all the services the Club had to offer, guiding her on the path to a successful life.
Tay has been a member of BGCM for ten years, actively and enthusiastically participating in almost every program at the Asbury Park Unit. She began as a member of BGCM’s Summer by the Sea Day Camp and then became a part of the afterschool childcare program. As an older member, she participated in SMART Girls, a self-esteem enhancement program for girls ages 10-17 that promotes healthy attitudes and lifestyles. Tay was also part of Torch Club, a character and leadership development program, in addition to serving as a Junior Staff member and Counselor in Training. She became a certified lifeguard and worked at the Club during summer camp, teaching dozens of members how to swim. Tay was a member of College Bound, a BGCM mentor and scholarship program, that guides students in the college preparation and application process. As a busy high school senior, Tay still found time to volunteer almost every day at BGCM and Jersey Shore University Medical Center.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County (BGCM)
Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County provide safe places for young people in Monmouth County, especially for those who need support the most. At the Asbury Park and Red Bank Unit locations, youth can receive programs and services that will help them realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens. Learn more at www.bgcmonmouth.org.