HYC member is Youth of the Year finalist
Mercedes Klouda, a four-year member of Heights Youth Club (HYC), is one of five finalists for Youth of the Year honors at Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland. The winner will be announced on March 9.
Beverly Burgess, former Heights Youth Club director, said of Klouda, "[Her] work ethic, self-esteem and personal resilience traits are inspiring to the club staff and her peers. When faced with a challenge, she works tirelessly to achieve her goals and sets high expectations for herself.”
For the past nine years, Klouda has volunteered at the Ebenezer Food Pantry at Fairmount Presbyterian Church, spending thousands of hours serving meals to community members.
In 2016, she was part of a church group that traveled to the Dominican Republic and helped build a church in one of the most poverty-stricken regions of that country.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland provides safe, fun after-school places for kids ages 6–18, with programming centered on promoting healthy lifestyles, academic achievement and character development. Each day, about 1,000 kids attend clubs in Cleveland and Cleveland Heights.
Ken Wood is communications director for Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland.