Published On: May 18, 2023By

Daishanay Francis set to receive college scholarship and vie for regional title this summer 

Woonsocket, RI, May 18, 2023 – Selected among 6 outstanding youth, Daishanay Francis has been named the Rhode Island Youth of the Year by Boys & Girls Clubs of America. The Youth of the Year title is a prestigious honor bestowed upon an exemplary young person in recognition of leadership, service, academic excellence, and dedication to live a healthy lifestyle. Now in its 76th year, the Youth of the Year program honors our nation’s most awe-inspiring young people on their path to great futures. As the Rhode Island Youth of the Year, Daishanay will serve as an ambassador for all teens in the state, will receive a $2,500 college scholarship from Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and will advance to the regional Youth of the Year and ultimately the national event.

Francis is deeply passionate about community service in Woonsocket. She serves as a Youth Ambassador for Project AWARE and Active Minds, organizations which promote mental health and substance abuse resources for young people. In addition, Francis represents the Woonsocket Highschool Class of 2024 as Class President and serves as a Board Director at the Milagros Project. Francis will be graduating high school next year and intends to apply to Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut to study political science, communications, marketing or human development and family science. She is excited at the prospect of attending Yale because its proximity to Woonsocket will allow her to continue to be active in her community.

In 2019, Francis joined the Boys and Girls Clubs of Northern Rhode Island’s Woonsocket clubhouse after learning about the organization through friends at school. For her, the club was an outlet to connect with other teens and organizations to do much-needed community service. Shortly after her 16th birthday, Francis began working at their front desk, greeting hundreds of children and parents as they enter the club each day after school. Her positivity and passion for her community lifts the spirits of the staff and families she works with each day.

“We are incredibly proud of Daishanay and all the Youth of the Year nominees,” said Jim Clark, president and CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “Being named Youth of the Year is a lifelong honor and accomplishment. As the Rhode Island Youth of the Year, Daishanay will serve as a spokesperson for Boys & Girls Club kids and teens across the state who need more role models that they can admire and emulate.”

Founded in 1947 as Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s premier youth recognition program, Youth of the Year recognizes outstanding contributions to a member’s family, school, community, and Boys & Girls Club. The Youth of the Year program is supported by Toyota and Mondelēz- International. As the Signature Sponsor of Youth of the Year, Toyota is committed to partnering with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to ensure local Clubs provide life-enhancing opportunities for kids and teens to explore, develop and apply the essential skills they need to be successful in life and work. As the Lead Sponsor of Youth of the Year, Mondelēz International, will engage with local Clubs year-round to help foster a new generation of leaders prepared to live in and lead a diverse global economy. Youth of the Year representatives are the workforce leaders, innovators, and problem-solvers of tomorrow.

This summer, Daishanay will join other state Youth of the Year to vie for the Northeast regional title. If named the regional Youth of the Year, they will be awarded an additional $20,000 college scholarship. The five finalists along with the National Military Youth of the Year, will advance to the National Youth of the Year event in October 2023, to vie for the title of Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Youth of the Year. The National Youth of the Year receives an additional scholarship of $50,000 and a brand-new Toyota Corolla.

For more information about the Youth of the Year program, visit www.youthoftheyear.org.  

About Boys and Girls Clubs of Northern Rhode Island

Founded in 1956, the mission of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Northern Rhode Island (BGCNRI) is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens. Serving more than 3,000 registered members per year, BGCNRI is an integral part of its community, serving as a safe-haven for children who otherwise may not have access to resources and opportunities. BGCNRI’s innovative programs are designed to empower youth to excel in school, become good citizens and lead healthy, productive lives.


About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For 160 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA.org) has provided a safe place for kids and teens to learn and grow. Clubs offer caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Boys & Girls Clubs programming promotes academic success, good character and leadership, and healthy lifestyles. More than 4,900 Clubs serve over 4.3 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more about Boys & Girls Clubs of America on Facebook and Twitter.

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