Bob and Renee Parsons Surprise Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale Youth of the Year Finalists with $20k Scholarships.
During the recent Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale’s (BGCS) annual Celebrate Youth at Blue Door Ball gala, Bob and Renee Parsons made a surprise announcement awarding each of the eight Youth of the Year finalists with a $20,000 educational scholarship. Teens in the running for Youth of the Year spend months practicing before presenting their competition speeches in front of more than 700 of Scottsdale’s biggest movers and shakers during the gala.
“Renee and I believe that all students deserve the opportunity for a brighter future, and that starts with a quality education,” said American entrepreneur and philanthropist, Bob Parsons.
Celebrate Youth at Blue Door Ball is an annual gala featuring silent and live auctions, dinner and a celebration of local teens from each branch who are competing for the Greater Scottsdale Youth of the Year title. The winner will represent the organization throughout the coming year, and go on to compete in the state competition later this month.
“We are so proud of the dedication the Youth of the Year finalists have demonstrated,” said businesswoman and philanthropist, Renee Parsons. “A college education is just the next step in the amazing journey these students have before them.”
The Parsons’ scholarship announcement came after Kayla Silas was officially named the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale 2017 Youth of the Year winner. Silas, 18, is a member of the Peach Springs Branch where she has been a junior staff member and helped coach the club’s first basketball team.
The funds, donated through The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation, are already making a significant impact in the lives of Silas and each of the other finalists, some of whom were not sure how they would pay for a college education. The finalists include: Daniela Aceves, 17, of the Paiute Branch; Lizzie Erickson, 18, of the Vestar Branch; Xavier Lopez, 17, of the Mary Ellen & Robert McKee Branch; Donna Persampire, 16, of the Virginia G. Piper Branch; Debanhi Reyes, 16, of the Hartley & Ruth Barker Branch; Casey (Kat) Swann, 15, of the Lehi Branch and Tatum Trainer, 18, of the Thunderbirds Branch.
“The Parsons’ scholarship not only had an impact on me, but also my Hualapai Tribal Community,” said Silas. “Receiving this scholarship is helping me achieve my goal of attending Arizona State University this fall, and I am very thankful to Mr. and Mrs. Parsons for giving me the opportunity to chase my dream of becoming a psychologist.”
In addition to the scholarships, The Bob & Renee Foundation pledged $100,000 towards a state-of-the-art technology center in the new Hilton Teen Center, slated for construction this summer at the Thunderbirds Branch in Grayhawk.
“We are grateful to call Bob and Renee our partners, and for their continued investment in our community and our youth,” said Dr. Lisa Hurst, Chief Executive Officer, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale. “Being able to set a dedicated area for teens in our Clubs allows them to feel independent and have access to technology, resources and positive experiences that can be life changing for many, and are life saving for some.”
The programs offered at the Boys & Girls Clubs are vitally important to aid in providing an alternative to the temptation and misdirection that often crowd the door to a child’s successful future. Research has shown that the more time youth spend at a Boys & Girls Club, the more connection they feel to school and the greater their post-secondary aspirations become. Thousands of youth walk through the door of a Boys & Girls Club every day, where they are prepared to become 21st century leaders, globally competitive graduates, innovative dream-makers and healthy game-changers. To learn more visit: https://www.bgcs.org/