AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Aurora native, Malachi Haynes is the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Youth of the Year winner.
Haynes won the regional award in August, at which time, his club had a party for him. He’s gone to the Boettcher Boys & Girls Club in Aurora since he was six. He credits the club and its staff for helping him become more outgoing.
“I’ve turned into a mentor and a leader, someone who takes on a lot of responsibility here at the Boys and Girls Club,” Haynes told CBS4 at the August celebration.
As a school project, Haynes and a friend at the club developed a reading program called Double Trouble.
“I found 5 kids who were in dire need of a little bit more motivation and push for reading, and so I would help them read every Friday, for one-hour,” Haynes explained.
Then he and his friend would play basketball with the younger students as a reward for their reading time.
“Every member that participated in the program improved their reading level by at least one level, so that was pretty big for us,” Haynes said.
Double Trouble is just one of the ways that Haynes excelled at his club. For the national award, he competed against club members from across the country. The winner was announced at a Boys & Girls Clubs of America event in Washington D.C.
Haynes will be a spokesperson for Boys & Girls Clubs of America, he gets a trip to Walt Disney World, a new car provided by Toyota, and $25,000 in scholarship money that can be renewed every year for four years, totaling $100,000.
Haynes is attending Colorado State University this fall and plans to study sports medicine.