Tamara Thomas, a senior at Cleveland’s Washington Park Environmental Studies Academy has been named Cleveland’s Boys and Girls Club Youth of the Year. Thomas is Cleveland’s first winner of the state competition since 2013.
"The club is like a second home for me at this point. I've been here for six years. My first job was through the club,” said Thomas. “My vision for today’s youth is to understand the beauty in the struggle. That through adversity, builds character. This organization has given me everything. There have been times where I didn’t eat, except for the food from the boys and girls club.”
Thomas wants to pursue international law.
"I always had a passion for activism. I want to be a lawyer, international lawyer. Injustice period, really bothers me,” said Thomas. "My grandfather was a Black Panther, so my family has the activism in our blood."
Students are awarded scholarships in the competition. The regional competition takes place in Chicago in July.