NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans were on hand at the Tennessee Governor's mansion Wednesday to honor the Boys & Girls Club of America's annual Youth of the Year, making a $25,000 donation to the organization in the process.
The program celebrated future leaders making a difference in their clubs, schools and communities. This year, 18 youth competed for the honor of becoming Tennessee's Youth of the Year, the highest honor a young man or woman can earn in Boys & Girls Club.
The 2015 winner was Ketron Hatton of the Maury County Club of Tennessee.
"My Boys & Girls Club of Maury County has given me countless opportunities like college tours, sporting events and all the programs they offer," said Hatton, who received a $5,000 scholarship and advances to Atlanta Ga. to compete for regional youth of the year honors. "I now know that I will graduate from high school and I will attend college."
Ernie Brooks, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Tennessee, said the organization appreciates the Titans' donation and overall support.
"The Boys & Girls Club and Tennessee Titans go back a long way and today's check presentation was a wonderful surprise," Brooks said. "It's huge, and all that money really helps us to better serve the children.
The Titans were on hand to support and honor 18 youth competing for Tennessee's Youth of the Year through the Boys & Girls Club of Tennessee. (Photos: Gary Glenn)
"It's a great honor for these children, but it's also a great opportunity for them to earn scholarship money," Brooks continued. "Most of them have goals of going to college and having a great career, so it's really helping them prepare to enter the workforce, higher education or whatever their goals may be. The competition is great because it brings out the best of the best."
Kenneth Adams, who represented Titans ownership at the event, said a primary goal of the team's foundation is to support youth in Middle Tennessee and throughout the state.
"The Boys and Girls Club teaches every young person that if you have a dream, are willing to work hard and do things the right way, you can achieve whatever you wish," Adams said. "These kids are very inspirational. They know what they want to do. They have a career path and I think the Boys & Girls Clubs have given them that."
2015 Tennessee Youth of the Year Contestants
Boys & Girls Clubs of Chattanooga
Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Dumplin Valley
Boys & Girls Clubs of Elizabethtown
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greeneville & Greene County
Boys & Girls Clubs of Jackson
Boys & Girls Clubs of Johnson City
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kingsport
Boys & Girls Clubs of Maury County
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis
Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee
Boys & Girls Clubs of Monroe Area
Boys & Girls Clubs of Morristown
Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Tennessee
Boys & Girls Clubs of Clinch Valley
Boys & Girls Clubs of Rutherford County
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Smoky Mountains
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley