GOSHEN — Eleven years ago, a first-grader walked into the Goshen Boys & Girls Club with her brother and two sisters. They were there because mom needed someone to watch them after school.
Her siblings left, or were less frequent about attending as they got older, but Briana Gunn, now 17, said, “I discovered I love going to the club. The club became my second home.”
Briana describes her home situation as difficult, and the club provided her with the respite she needed.
And recently, what Briana has contributed to the club and her community was recognized. She was named the Indiana Youth of the Year by the Boys & Girls Club of America. She was selected from a pool of 26 outstanding youths, BGCA officials said, citing her “sound character, leadership skills and willingness to give back to the community.”
Youth of the Year is the highest honor a Boys & Girls Club member can receive.
Along with being the new teen representative for all of the Boys and Girls Club in Indiana, Briana will receive a $1,000 college scholarship from Tupperware Brands Corp.
A scholarship she will be using much sooner than later.
She may only be a junior at Goshen High School, but Briana has enough credits and completed enough requirements to graduate this spring with the senior class.
“I had to take a few extra courses online,” Briana said. And her required classes will all be out of the way, leaving just “fun” classes to take next school year. “So I chose not to take senior year.”
Instead, she wants to go to college. Briana is still applying to colleges and already has sent applications to Adrian and Hanover colleges. She wants to be an English literature teacher.
And perhaps some of her future students will be reading Briana’s works.