Youth of the Year

Youth of the Year is Boys & Girls Clubs’ premier recognition program, since 1955. Its purpose is to foster a new generation of leaders. 


Each Club nominates a high school member annually to compete to represent our organization as the Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade Youth of the Year, and to compete at the state level and possibly national level.


The National Youth of the Year, along with the other four regional runners-up, then travel to Washington, D.C. and speak to members of Congress and meet the president of the United States. To achieve the title of Youth of the Year on any level, Club members must embody the values of leadership and service, academic excellence and a healthy lifestyle. They should exemplify the critical impact that Boys & Girls Clubs have on the lives of young people

Cristiane Melo

2022 Youth of the Year

Cristiane Melo was born in Angola, Africa. At the age of 7 she lost her mother to Lupus. In 2013 she moved to the United States. The only family that came along on the journey was her aunt and sister. In Angola, family is a big part of tradition, so coming to the United States and leaving everyone behind was very hard for them. 


In 2016, she left the United States to live in Angola and moved shortly thereafter to Portugal to be closer to her grandmother. In July 2018, her aunt convinced Cristiane and her sister to return to the U.S. The constant movement between countries was taking its toll on her grades. Cristiane made a promise to her grandmother that year – that she’d become a model daughter, that would make her mother proud.


Cristiane has been making good on her promise. She will be graduating from Coral Gables High School in June 2022 with a 3.6 GPA, making the Superior Honor Roll. Since joining BGCMia in 2019, she’s become an active member in school and Club activities, holding leadership positions such as Company Commander of her JROTC unit, Vice President of HIP, Keystone and Teen Programs. As title holder of Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade Youth of the Year 2022, she will now be competing at the state level for Boys & Girls Clubs Youth of the Year in April 2022. 

Along with her family, Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade join in celebration of all of Cristiane’s accomplishments and successes.