Not long ago, I posted a picture of the three Boys & Girls Club high school Youth of the Year finalists on the night of judging.  My girl, Bridget, is the lady on the left, and tonight was the awards banquet, where the winners for middle school and high school competitions were announced, (that's why I'm dressed in my teacher outfit - no run-around-chase-kids clothes tonight).  The high school competition is the one that goes national, and the winner at each level is awarded scholarship money.

The Youth of the Year program works to recognize outstanding members of the Boys & Girls Clubs who have had a rough path, but have worked hard to become upstanding students, club, and community members.  The national winner gets, essentially, a full ride to college and lunch with the president.  It's a big deal.

Having been a teacher for the past three years, and never having been a club kid, everything about the Boys & Girls Club is new to me, so I have to feel out every program, event, procedure, piece of paperwork, etc, as I go.  I was very nervous about doing the packet for Bridget to submit her as a Youth of the Year candidate, because if I screwed up my half of it, it would jeopardize her shot.

So I was just as nervous as she was when our executive chief stood up to announce the winner for the city of Austin.  In the past, there has only been one prize: a $5,000 scholarship for the Austin winner, and plaques for everyone else.  He said he wanted to do something different this year, and had decided to award the runner-up a $2,500 scholarship, and that winner was: Bridget!  $2,500 for school!?  Oh my goodness!  I'm so excited!   These are kids who do they best that they can, but will need extra help to get them where they want to be.  Bridget totally deserves it and I couldn't be more pleased.  Tyra, from Lanier, won 1st, and Michael, from South Club, took 3rd, and he's only a sophomore, so now he's groomed and ready for next year's competition.  I'm shocked, though, that Mark was able to find $2,500 to give out, as the slumped economy has hit all non-profit organizations, including ours.  It's a huge deal that she was awarded a second place prize.

With that in mind, the BGC is getting ready to launch their Someone to Someone (hence all the shirts floating around that say "someone") campaign.  This is going to mean I'll be posting about nights where proceeds from certain restaurants in town go to the BGC, and also a night at Hang Town where I will, if I'm brave, be playing guitar with Girl Guitar Austin for a night of fun, music, and fundraising with the BGC.  My friend Julie is the BGC PR lady by day, and songbird by night, (she's the one who referred me to Girl Guitar).

Please stay posted for these events and come visit me!  And speaking of come visit me... I *may* concede to play Antone's Monday night at 7PM.  Lennon has been coaching me and I'm feeling a bit more confident, and my supervisor said I could leave work early.

Now on to my teacher outfit, pulled from retirement:

Slacks: The Limited
Oxford shirt: Gap
Lace tank: White House Black Market
Sweater Vest: The Limited
Necklace: from Accesory City
Shoes: from Dillards (can you tell I love the Dillard's shoe department?  It's a Little Rock based company, I have to be loyal)
Tibetan Monk Photo: by the art teacher who works with our kids, Michael Long.  He was part of the East Austin Studio Tour.  He rocks, (and teaches adult classes, too).