Tahjir Fernand Named 2024 BGCNR Youth of the Year


Tahjir Fernand Now Will Vie For State Title And Scholarship

NEW ROCHELLE, NY (4/12/24) – Selected among six outstanding local teens, Tahjir Fernand has been named 2024 “Youth of the Year” by Boys & Girls Club of New Rochelle (BGCNR). The Youth of the Year title is a prestigious honor awarded to an exemplary young person in recognition of leadership, service, academic excellence, and dedication to live a healthy lifestyle.

Now in its 77th year, the Boys & Girls Club of America (BGCA) Youth of the Year program honors our nation’s most inspiring young people on their path to great futures. Tahjir will go on to vie for the New York State Youth of the Year title and a $2,500 college scholarship from Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

Tahjir has been a member of BGCNR’s Remington Clubhouse for the past five years and has participated in numerous club programs, including Torch Club, Passport to Manhood, Keystone Club, and Smart Moves; and distinguished himself in Drama Matters, which nurtures interest and increases appreciation of the dramatic arts while building self-confidence, inspiring creativity, and supporting academic achievement. Tahjir performed the Michael Jackson solo in the club’s recent  “Lights on Broadway” production and will portray The Scarecrow in its upcoming adaptation of “The Wiz.”

Tajhir also was an active member of BGCNR’s Summer Enrichment Program, during which he traveled to new destinations, discovered hidden talents and interests, developed new skills, and supported fellow club members in exploring disciplines in STEM and art. Additionally, he has worked to give back to his community through volunteering at Hope Kitchen, participating in Earth Day clean-up programs and Dribble for Peach movement, and supporting efforts of the Sharing Shelf.

“We’re so pleased to recognize Tajhir as our 2024 Youth of the Year as he truly exemplifies our mission to support youth in becoming caring, responsible, and productive citizens,” said Becky Mazzanobile, CEO of Boys & Girls Club of New Rochelle. “Since joining us, he has grown into a dedicated, tenacious, and outgoing young man who continues to welcome new opportunities for growth, regardless of how challenging they may be. Every day, Tajhir inspires his peers to work hard to get to the next level and not let fear get in the way of personal growth. And his commitment to community service and concern for others  – along with his infectious smile and positive attitude – will allow him to create positive impact for those around him for years to come.”

Should Tahjir be named New York State Youth of the Year, he then will compete for the title of Northeast Regional Youth of the Year and an additional $20,000 college scholarship. Five regional finalists, along with the National Military Youth of the Year, eventually will advance to the National Youth of the Year event in September 2024 to vie for Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Youth of the Year, an additional scholarship of $50,000, a brand-new Toyota Corolla, and $5,000 Kohl’s gift card.

Toyota and Kohl’s are the Signature Sponsors of Youth of the Year, sharing a dedication to America’s youth. Toyota is partnering with BGCA to ensure local clubs and BGCA-affiliated military youth centers provide life-enhancing opportunities for kids and teens to explore, develop and apply the essential skills they need to be successful in life and work; and Kohl’s collaborates with the organization to ensure local clubs and youth centers provide staff training and curriculum updates focused on trauma-informed care to build practices youth will need to build great futures.

For more information about the Youth of the Year program, visit bgca.org/yoy.

About Boys & Girls Club of New Rochelle

Founded in 1929, Boys & Girls Club of New Rochelle (BGCNR) is an integral part of the community, offering quality, achievement-driven programming that encompasses academics, mental wellness, fitness, leadership, and civics. Today, it serves over 8,000 youth annually at 16 school sites and its Mascaro and Remington Clubhouses. BGCNR offers them safe places to learn and grow, ongoing relationships with caring professionals, life-enhancing programs and meaningful character development experiences, and hope and opportunity.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America

For more than 160 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA.org) has provided a safe place for kids and teens to learn and grow. Clubs offer caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Programming promotes academic success, good character and leadership, and healthy lifestyles. More than 5,200 clubs serve over 3.3 million young people through club membership and community outreach. They are located in cities, towns, public housing, and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated youth centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more about Boys & Girls Clubs of America on Facebook and X.