Youth of the Year

BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF MALIBU ANNOUNCES ITS 2012 YOUTH OF THE YEAR

Malibu, CA, January 19, 2012 – Selected among 8 outstanding youth, Makenzie Kizis, a true example of an exemplary young woman, has been named the 2012 Boys & Girls Club of Malibu (BGCM) Youth of the Year.

A senior at Malibu High School and a Boys & Girls Club of Malibu (BGCM) member for seven years, Kizis and seven other nominees went before a panel of judges where they each shared a three minute speech about the profound impact the BGCM has had on their lives. Being named Youth of the Year is the highest honor a Boys & Girls club member can receive. The title recognizes outstanding contributions to a member's family, school, community and Boys & Girls Club, as well as personal challenges and obstacles overcome.

Kizis has been dedicated to her Boys & Girls Club where she works as a high school intern mentoring her younger peers. Since the 6th grade she has participated in every program and volunteer activity the Club has offered. She attributes The Club and being a part of programs like Torch Club and Jr. Staff as influencing her moral character and teaching her to be open-minded, responsible, and passionate about everything she does. Kizis expanded her love of volunteerism by getting involved with her school through Can-A-Week Club, The New Hope Club and Operation Smile. Additionally Kizis excels on the Volleyball court as a three year member of the girls varsity team.

"When I was younger, I looked at The Club and saw an environment of fun and freedom. Now I understand what The Club truly is and what it has become for me. The Club is a reservoir for every form of religion, ethnicity and personality to fuse together and learn from each other. It is hard to imagine what I would be like without The Club." Said Kizis.

On February 16th Kizis will compete against Youths of the Year from the 26 other Boys & Girls Clubs in Los Angeles County for the opportunity to progress to the California Youth of the Year competition in Sacramento. In 2011 Kizis' s predecessor, Violet Miehle, was the first BGCM Youth of the Year to win the Los Angeles County title as well as move to the state competition where she was later named the 2011 Boys & Girls Clubs of America, California Youth of Year.

Results of the Los Angeles county competition will be announced at a Boys & Girls Club of Los Angeles County event to be held at California Science Center on March 15th. If Kizis progresses to the state wide competition and wins, she will compete for the title of Pacific Region Youth of the Year and a $10,000 scholarship. The five regional winners will advance to Washington D.C., in September 2012, to compete for the title of BGCA's National Youth of the Year. The National Youth of the Year receives an additional $50,000 college scholarship and is installed by the President in the Oval Office ceremony. To follow Kizis and her journey as Boys & Girls Club of Malibu 2012 Youth of the Year please check out The Club's website: www.malibuyouth.org or follow/join us on twitter and face book.

Boys & Girls Club of Malibu Teen Center, has been a leader and innovator in the community as a local non-profit since 1999. BGCM hosts over 120 teens daily and provides professional youth development services to over 1200 youth annually. BGCM is a community organization and relies on the generous donations of others to provide vital services for youth. For more information about The Club and its programs visit www.malibuyouth.org.