Jewel Fowler (r.), with Tamika Joyner, Lead Teen Director at the FBR branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington.
Jewel Fowler (r.), with Tamika Joyner, Lead Teen Director at the FBR branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington.

Jewel Fowler: FBR Branch's 2009-2010 Youth of the Year

Each year, every Boys & Girls Club recognizes one member for his or her improvement and participation within the club, school, and community. The Friedman, Billings, Ramsey (FBR) branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington selected Jewel Fowler, 18, as the club's 2009–2010 Youth of the Year.

Fowler is currently vice president of the Keystone Club. Members elect their own leaders and choose and coordinate their own community service projects. The Boys & Girls Clubs' Keystone programs are regionally and nationally recognized and have received service awards for their project initiatives. "Through the club, I have gained character and leadership skills for the future," Fowler said.

But perhaps more important than the FBR branch's programs are its people—especially Fowler's mentor, Tamika Joyner—who serves as the club's Lead Teen Director.

To Fowler, 18, Joyner and the other staff of the FBR are like an "extended family." After the death of her mother in September, Fowler leaned heavily on Joyner. "She lent me an ear. She knew what I was going through," said Fowler. "She taught me many valuable life lessons based on her own personal experiences."

A member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington for the last 4 years, Fowler learned some of those valuable lessons early on in Joyner's SMART Girls program, which encourages healthy attitudes and lifestyles that will enable girls to develop to their full potential. Fowler said she has learned how to "demand respect and be a leader."

A senior in high school, Fowler is applying to college and plans to major in criminal justice. Her goal is to become a homicide detective. "Going to college will be a breeze," she said. "I have mentors, so I'm covered."

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