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Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade Names Cristiane Melo its 2022 Youth of the Year

Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade is pleased to announce it has named Cristiane Melo, (18), its 2022 Youth of the Year. A panel of Club staff and administration served as the judges to select this year’s Youth of the Year.

Melo was born in Angola, Africa. After losing her mother to Lupus at the age of seven, she moved to the United States with her aunt and sister in 2013. In 2016, she moved back to Angola and then shortly thereafter moved to Portugal to be closer to her grandmother. In 2018, Melo and her sister returned to Miami. The frequent moves between countries and schools significantly impacted Melo’s grades. Melo made a promise to her grandmother that she’d become a model daughter, one that would have made her mother proud if she were alive.

Melo, a senior at Coral Gables Senior High School with a 3.6 GPA, has been a member of the Hank Kline Club since 2019. Since joining Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade, she has become an active member in school and Club activities, holding leadership positions such as Company Commander of her JROTC unit and Vice President of HIP, Keystone and Teen Programs. Melo will be graduating in June 2022, making the Superior Honor Roll. She plans to attend Miami Dade College and study marketing.

During her time at the Club, she has matured by placing her focus on her education and giving back to the community, recognizing the Club’s impact on her success.

“Cristiane has proven to be the model ambassador for Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade and has earned the title of 2022 Youth of the Year,” said Alex Rodriguez-Roig, president of Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade. “She embodies the Club’s values including leadership and service and has overcome adversity to achieve academic success. All of us at Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade congratulate her for all of her hard work and commitment to the Club and our community.”

Melo and 29 other teens from Florida Boys & Girls Clubs will be competing for the 2022 Florida Youth of the Year title. The winner of the state title will receive a $2,500 scholarship, laptop computer and printer.

Every year since 1955, youth from various Boys & Girls Clubs across Florida have competed for the opportunity to represent Florida as the Florida Youth of the Year. The winner of the state title then competes in the regional competition. Five regional winners then move on, and one is named the Boys & Girls Clubs of America National Youth of the Year.

The National Youth of the Year serves as both an exemplary ambassador for Boys & Girls Clubs youth and as a strong voice for all of the nation’s young people. He/she receives a new car courtesy of Toyota, as well as scholarships and cash totaling $60,000. The National Youth of the Year, along with the other four regional runners-up, then travel to Washington, D.C. and speak to members of Congress and meet the president of the United States.

To achieve the title of Youth of the Year on any level, Club members must embody the values of leadership and service, academic excellence and a healthy lifestyle. They should exemplify the critical impact that Boys & Girls Clubs have on the lives of young people. The scoring includes candidate essays, an interview, a speech, letters of recommendation and overall application quality.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade

Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade has been serving youth in the community since 1946. What once was a single building and site for boys has grown to five Clubs serving thousands of boys and girls year-round, providing programs in the areas of character and leadership development, educational enhancement, career preparation, health and life skills, cultural arts and sports, fitness and recreation. Club staffing, initiatives, and programs are designed to inspire and enable area youth and provide them with the resources to succeed and share in the American Dream. For more information, please,,,,, or call 305.446.9910.

By ML Staff. Image courtesy of Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade


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