Southport student named “Youth of the Year” for The Boys and Girls Club of Indianapolis

By Jacob Musselman

Donte McDonald Jr. takes a photo at the award ceremony. (Photo provided by Perry Township School District)

Last weekend, one of Southport’s own, Donte McDonald Jr. was named one of five “Youth of the Year.”

The designation is the highest honor a member of The Boys and Girls Club of Indianapolis can receive and recognizes young people for their outstanding contributions to their family, school, community  and Club, as well as personal challenges and obstacles they have overcome.

McDonald is currently a senior at Southport High School and plans to attend either Clark Atlanta University or Ball State University in the fall to major in sports management. He has been a member of the Keenan-Stahl Boys & Girls Club for 11 years and is a second-generation Club kid as both his parents were Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis members. 

In addition to academic success, the exceptional teen is also a determined athlete and dedicated employee as he currently  works as a program coordinator at the Keenan-Stahl Boys & Girls Club.

“The Club is truly like my second home, and my extended family, I can say that the Club has provided me with so many  tools that will be used for me to live a productive life with intent and not by accident,” McDonald said in a press release.

Each year, Boys & Girls Clubs of America searches for young people to represent the organization and to tell their own stories about how the Club has impacted each of their lives. This search begins at the local level where youth complete applications, write essays and participate in interviews with Board members and community partners who are challenged to select only one youth to represent their Club and move on to the city-wide competition. McDonald will go on to contend for the Indiana Youth of the Year title.

McDonald is the only student from the Southside to be given this award this school year.

“The ‘Youth of the Year’ program is an opportunity to showcase our city’s most inspirational young people,” said Maggie A. Lewis, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis in a press release. “I cannot think of a better way to celebrate and honor not only  Donte, but all of our nominees, for their commitment to our Clubs, for serving as mentors to fellow members and serving  as living proof that great futures start at our Clubs,” stated Lewis.