Six Youth of the Year participants sit together on marble steps for a group photo.

Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Youth of the Year (Class of 2019).

The Morehead-Cain Foundation has entered into partnerships with Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and the Global Citizens Initiative (GCI), two national nonprofits that invest in high school students from all backgrounds to advance academic excellence, college readiness, and leadership development.

Both organizations will be able to nominate rising seniors for the Morehead-Cain Scholarship beginning in this year’s selection process, according to Chuck Lovelace ’77, executive director of the Foundation.

“Morehead-Cain is always seeking to develop and expand partnerships in increasing access to the Program for bright high school students across the country and abroad,” Lovelace said.

He thanked Robbie Bach ’84, who serves on the board of governors for BGCA and for the local Boys & Girls Club in Bellevue, Washington, for making the initial introduction and for helping further inform Morehead-Cain of the impact the organization has on young students. Another alumnus, David Jernigan ’00, serves as president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta.

Justine Okerson, director of scholar selection, said the partnerships will reinforce Morehead-Cain’s efforts to identify promising young leaders, particularly those from underserved backgrounds.

“Collaborating with Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the Global Citizens Initiative is a natural and exciting extension of our work to attract talented youth to attend Carolina,” she said.

BGCA provides after-school programs for youth through local Clubs across the United States. All incoming high school seniors participating in Youth of the Year, a program administered through the national organization, are eligible to be nominated to the Morehead-Cain, according to Lorraine Orr, Chief Operations Officer for BGCA.

“Every young person—no matter who they are, where they come from, or the circumstances which surround them—should have equal access to opportunities and experiences that give them every opportunity in life,” Lorraine said. “Through the Morehead-Cain, Club teens will have the opportunity to access transformational educational opportunities at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that they may not have had access to otherwise.”

Youth of the Year provides Club members with the opportunity to showcase their talents and achievements, share their hopes and dreams, and to serve as advocates for other youth and teens.

Participants are “promising leaders selected for their service, academic excellence, and dedication to living a healthy lifestyle,” said Teresa Walch, National Vice President of Training and Quality Improvement at BGCA.

Candidates are identified through numerous recognition programs through local Clubs (or BGCA-affiliated Clubs) and U.S. military installations. They progress through state and regional events, culminating with the National Youth of the Year event, where one candidate is named the National Youth of the Year (the highest honor bestowed upon a Club member).

Group shot of Global Citizens Initiative Fellows.

All GCI Fellows and alumni may be considered for the Morehead-Cain beginning in this year’s selection process.

Developing the next generation of global leaders through the Global Citizens Initiative

The Global Citizens Initiative (GCI), a nonprofit social enterprise based in Greenwich, Connecticut, empowers young global citizens from all sectors of society to be lifelong leaders of positive change.

Each year, GCI hosts a 10-month fellowship for academically talented secondary school students from a variety of socioeconomic, ethnic, and geographic backgrounds. The fellowship commences with a nine-day summit, where GCI Fellows from around the world convene to develop their critical thinking skills through an ethics-based leadership curriculum.

As a result of the partnership with Morehead-Cain, GCI Fellows and alumni may be considered for the Scholarship, said Yumi Kuwana, president and founder of GCI.

“We share Morehead-Cain’s vision to support future leaders who will have an impact on the world,” Kuwana said. “The Program provides young people with the opportunity of a lifetime, just like GCI, and together we can help these exceptional young people initiate real change around the world.”

Focusing on pressing global issues identified by the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, GCI Fellows learn how to develop service projects that they will implement when they return to their home communities. Every fellow is provided with a mentor and ongoing support from GCI through the conclusion of the program, when they become lifetime members of the global GCI community.

The Foundation partners with 16 local, regional, national, and international programs. Learn more about nominating schools and programs.