2019 Federal Way Youth of the Year
Scroll down to see Jaylen’s Youth of the Year speech!
- Years at the Club: 10
- High school & grade: Todd Beamer High School, 12th
- Intended college: Eastern Washington
- Activities and interests: Digital arts and multimedia, playing music, and volunteering
Without flaw, there is no flavor.
Jaylen has a bright future ahead of him as he currently takes college courses at Highline. After moving around a lot as a kid, getting used to switching schools and apartments, Jaylen’s family moved to Washington. He asserted his right to be himself and not be put in a box – jumping rope instead of playing basketball, and wearing Converse instead of Jordans. The Boys & Girls Club is the place that really made Jaylen feel that he was absolutely fine to just be himself and that he was welcome no matter what.
The child of a single mom, Jaylen also found staff at the Club that helped him as a second family, one in particular who provided that father figure role – teaching him to tie a tie, treat a significant other, and be the best man he can be. He felt loved and encouraged and credits the Club as the place where he truly learned to respect himself.
The Club helped me acquire friends, taught me it’s okay to be different, supported my creativity, challenged my creativity, gave me a sense of direction, passion and gave me a father figure. The Boys & Girls Club is my second home, and that is the best experience anyone could ever ask for.
Thanks to Chris Hagen for the beautiful photos!