Outstanding Teens Meet With Montell Williams

Asbury Park, NJ – Jahshier Bland-Christie is a true example of an extraordinary young man. At age 18, he was selected to compete against other Boys & Girls Club members for the New Jersey Youth of the Year title, a $1,000 scholarship from the Reader’s Digest Foundation and an additional $1,500 scholarship from Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County (BGCM). As the Youth of the Year for BGCM, Bland-Christie is among hundreds of local youth across the country recognized by Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) for his 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. The title recognizes outstanding contributions to a member’s family, school, community and Boys & Girls Club, as well as personal challenges and obstacles overcome. This program was founded over 60 years ago through the generosity of the Reader’s Digest Foundation. Montell Williams attended the award dinner to support the youth being recognized.  Bland-Christie was awarded the BGCM Youth of the Year Award by Michael Manzo, Chief Operating Officer of Jersey Mike’s Subs Franchise Systems.

Bland-Christie is a very involved young man in his community, BGCM and his school. In school he has committed to volunteering along with classmates for the Read Across America Program, by reading to Elementary School students at the Bradley School in Asbury Park.

In addition, Bland-Christie was a Renaissance student his freshman year, has been a member of the National Honor Society since his sophomore year, maintains a 3.5 grade point average in his senior year, has made the honor roll for the first semester this year, and was awarded a scholarship by the Asbury Park Board of Education.

Jahshier Bland-Christie (r) is awarded Youth of the Year.

“Since Jahshier has been a member, he has been a pleasure to work with. His quiet demeanor threw most of the staff off at first, but once we got to know him we realized how special he is. He is a very mature young man who has his head on his shoulders and knows what he wants in life,” stated Isiah Jones, program director of BGCM. “Despite having it rough growing up he has persevered in the face of adversity and has made us proud to have worked with him. Though he will be leaving for college in the coming months, we are both sad to see him go but excited to see him begin a new chapter in his life.”

Over the past two years Bland-Christie has been one of the most active members of BGCM. Jahshier has participated in Career Launch, SMART Moves, Junior Staff, and ballroom dancing since becoming a member. Jahshier volunteered with club members and the Kiwanis Club of Asbury Park to give out Thanksgiving Turkey baskets. His responsible mature, demeanor is evident each day, while working with kids in the after school childcare program. Every day Jahshier helps serve dinner to club members who, in some cases, may not have dinner after they leave the club in the evenings.

Bland-Christie along with four other College Bound high school seniors will be given college scholarships at the BGCM Annual Awards Dinner on Tuesday, June 8, 2010 at 6 P.M. at the Molly Pitcher Inn in Red Bank. For more information or reservations, please contact Kelli Very at 732-530-0065.

About the Boys and Girls Clubs of Monmouth County:

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County is a non-profit organization that provides children ages 6-17 with safe havens where they can participate in unique personal enrichment programs designed to instill a sense of confidence, usefulness, belonging and influence. Members of the Boys & Girls Clubs come from varying backgrounds and often face significant social and economic challenges. Each day over 200 youth are educated about real-life experiences and are encouraged to be active, productive and successful members of society.