Saturday, March 9, 2013

Tempe Student Named Youth of the Year

Anissia Woods receives a scholarship from
 Rio Salado College Associate Dean Ruby Miller
Recently, the East Valley Boys and Girls Club honored eight teens with a Youth of the Year award. The award is based on service and leadership in three areas; school, the Boys and Girls Club, and the community.

Anissia Woods, a native of Tempe and a senior at Tempe High School, was chosen as this year’s recipient from Tempe’s Ladmo Branch of the Boys and Girls Club. She was awarded a $1,000 scholarship to attend Rio Salado College and has bright plans for her future. She has also been accepted at Texas Southern University where she will seek to earn a degree in business administration.

“I’m excited, I never had an opportunity like this,” she said.

Woods has been going to the Boys and Girls Club since she was only five years old, and says the club has given her a support group through some difficult times in her life.

“When friends at school weren’t there for me, my friends at the club were,” she said.

She said that the Boys and Girls Club provides opportunities to teach and prepare youth for the future.

“I love how there are programs that teach you about life and what to look forward to,” she said. “It keeps you out of unnecessary drama.”

Woods has been active in her community through the Boys and Girls Club, the Keystone Club and her church. She also participates in school programs like basketball, dance, and as the president of the Black Student Union.

Even though she is the youngest of three children, she has often taken a leadership role with her siblings. She hopes that her work ethic will be an example to her friends and family.

“I want to be that person to look up to for my younger cousins,” she said.

Woods recognizes that being active in school and in her community has given her opportunities to shape her dreams and aspirations of owning her own dance studio someday.

“I had the opportunity to meet people that do what I want to do,” she explained.

It is those opportunities that make Woods grateful for her experiences of giving service.

“It may seem like a lot of work but it pays off in the end,” she said.

Woods even has some advice for those who might be thinking about getting more involved in their community.

“Just get involved and don’t hold back.”