Selected among several local outstanding youth, 17-year-old Ajamu Dillahunt-Holloway will compete against other Boys & Girls Club members for the North Carolina Youth of the Year title and a $1,000 college scholarship from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wake County. As the new Youth of the Year for Boys & Girls Clubs serving Wake County, Ajamu is a true example of an extraordinary young man. He is being recognized by the Boys & Girls Clubs for his civic activism, Club leadership, perseverance and willingness to give back to the community.
Being named Youth of the Year is the highest honor a Boys & Girls Clubs member can receive. As BGCA’s premier youth recognition program, Youth of the Year recognizes outstanding contributions to a member’s family, school, community and Boys & Girls Club, as well as overcoming personal challenges and obstacles. Youth of the Year encourages Club members to reach their full potential by achieving academic success, leading healthy lifestyles and contributing to their communities. Youth of the Year honorees are shining examples and living proof that great futures start at Boys & Girls Clubs.
“Ajamu is an impressive young man who has demonstrated a strong commitment to civic duty and shows great resilience in facing life’s challenges. We are extremely proud to have him represent our organization at the state Youth of the Year competition.” said Ralph Capps, Chief Executive Officer of the Boys & Girls Club serving Wake County.
During his time at the Washington Elementary Boys & Girls Club, Ajamu has volunteered over 500 hours while maintaining a 3.0 GPA and excelling in soccer. He serves as the leader of several youth activist groups, such as NC HEAT (North Carolina Heroes Emerging Amongst Teens) and Black Workers for Justice and has participated in Moral Mondays which focus on the rights of women, workers, and voters. He was even invited to Washington D.C. to speak with government officials on the White House Initiative on Education Excellence for African-American Children.
During Ajamu’s sophomore year, he received a severe concussion and was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome which kept him out of school and soccer.
“I have been an active member of my Boys & Girls Club for many years and I plan to use the skills the Club has taught me to help change the world,” said Dillahunt-Holloway. “The Club brings me hope and so much motivation. It is my second home.”
Ajamu credits the Club for reaching out to him and his family during such a difficult time and keeping him on track and engaged with trips and activities like the National Society for Black Engineers camp at NC State. Motivated by a commitment to community, Ajamu has pursued several great opportunities interning with Legal Aid of North Carolina and attending a restorative justice training program at Campbell University Law School.
At the Boys & Girls Clubs, Ajamu serves as a Junior Staff member and mentor. He leads soccer drills for younger members and even donated his personal equipment to members in need. He is currently in his senior year at Southeast Raleigh High School, where he has resumed his place on the soccer team as Captain, and manages the women’s varsity soccer team. Ajamu also takes a leadership role in several school organizations including Student Government.
Ajamu is hopeful about his future plans to graduate from high school with high marks and attend the college of his choice. He would like to continue speaking out on matters of social justice and better funding for schools and find ways to give back to his Club. Congratulations, Ajamu!