HELENA-WEST HELENA — Orlando Jones of the Boys and Girls Club of Phillips County has been named the Youth of the Year for the state of Arkansas by Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
Jones, a 17-year-old senior at Central High School in Helena-West Helena, will receive a $1,000 scholarship from the Reader’s Digest Foundation. He is among hundreds of Youth of the Year winners across the country recognized by Boys and Girls Clubs of America for sound character, leadership skills and willingness to give back to the community.
The Youth of the Year title recognizes outstanding contributions to a member’s family, school, community and Boys and Girls Club, as well as personal challenges and obstacles overcome.
Jones is active in his local Boys and Girls Club, where he has been a member for three years. He is president of the Blues Keystone Club, helps younger members with homework in the Robert F. and Maude Caine Howe Learning Center, leads a reading program aimed at younger members and assists in the Dr. Mosler Kahn Cafe. He is also active in school, serving as the Quiz Bowl team captain, tenor section leader of the school choir and member of the student council.
This summer, Jones will compete with others from states in the Boys and Girls Clubs of America Southwest Region. If named regional winner, he will be awarded a $10,000 college scholarship and advance to the national competition in Washington. The National Youth of the Year receives an additional $15,000 college scholarship and will be installed by President Barack Obama during a ceremony in Washington.