Since Jayden Bohannon’s first Y experience in the afterschool program as a kindergartener, she has grown into a true servant leader. Today, she is a member of the Leaders Club and has participated in the Global Service Leadership program, Young Women’s Leadership Academy, and Blue Ridge Leadership School. For the second year in a row, Jayden has earned the Teen Fundraiser of the Year award for her hard work raising funds to support the mission of the Y.
“The Y is more than just an organization. It is a family that welcomes you with wide open arms no matter your race, gender, religion or economic status,” says Jayden Bohannon.
Through the Y’s Global Service Leadership Program, young people have an opportunity to travel to international destinations, where they work with local teens to support Y programs in those countries. Teens raise funds in advance of their travels, learning the importance of sharing your Y story to encourage others to give. Jayden has traveled to South Africa and London as part of this program and learned about seeing the world through different lenses.
“It is important to see things from many perspectives because life is not one-sided. You cannot have a view of the whole world though one person’s eyes,” shares Jayden. She enjoys getting to know others through the Y and during her travels, and she recognizes the importance of building relationships with people from all backgrounds.
According to Y staff member Kevin Ellis, Jayden has found her voice at the Y. He has enjoyed watching her open up and develop her confidence over the past six years participating in Y teen programs. “Jayden works hard to connect with everyone in Teen Leaders Club. She is always ready to jump in and serve, and she willingly shares her perspective on how the Y has helped her grow as a leader — locally and globally,” says Kevin.
Jayden says the Y has helped her build character as a person, meet lifelong friends and build courage. “But most of all the Y allows me to do what I love, which is helping others and putting smiles on their faces. Being the impact means being the change you want to see,” she adds.
Jayden is supported by her amazing family, including her parents Brandy, Kenton, and Leonard and her three siblings. She plans to attend college after she graduates from high school and continue to help others in the future.