Dillon Jennings of the Boys & Girls Club of the Mississippi Delta Lexington Unit participated in the state of Mississippi’s Youth of the Year this past month in Gulfport, MS.
Jennings is a junior at Holmes County School District where he is editor of the school’s yearbook and point guard on the varsity basketball team.
He is a member of the Boys & Girls Club of Lexington, one of seven clubs in the Mississippi Delta organization. He serves as a Junior Staffer at the Lexington Club. He is also an active member of the Club’s Basketball team. Last summer, Jennings participated in the Special Olympics USA games in Orlando Florida as part of the Lexington Club’s Unified Basketball Team.
The Unified Team was created in partnership with Special Olympics Mississippi and the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Delta. In Orlanda, Jennings served as the Team’s Co-Captain and was one of the leading scorers in the tournament where his Unified Team won the silver medal in the nation-wide competition.
Jennings credits his Boys & Girls Club experience in helping him in school. “I came to the Boys & Girls Clubs for a safe afterschool environment but also to get help with my academic work. No one likes to be the kid that needs additional assistance and I admit to being frightened, but after the first day at the club I wanted to continue.”
Jennings believes the club has been beneficial in his social, academic and even his professional growth. “I’ve learned life-long skills of promptness, organization, timely feedback, and planning.”
At the club he has served as liaison for the teen membership. “I listen to the needs of our teen population, my peers, and strategize programming for engagement and participation, including researching workforce development opportunities for our teens to participate in.”
Kawanna S. Horton, Unit Director, at the Lexington Boys & Girls Clubs tells of the impact Dillon has made at the Club. “Dillon has become a beacon of light for children who are products of single parent households. He never allows an opportunity to mentor club youth or offer his assistance for the betterment of the club. Dillon is a symbol of hope.”
Jennings looks forward to continuing his work at school and his Boys & Girls Club as he will move into his senior year. He plans to participate in the Youth of the Year competition again next year.