Valparaiso University freshman Tékeidra Masters ’24 was named Midwest Regional Youth of the Year by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. The Youth of the Year title honors the nation’s most awe-inspiring young people on their path to great futures. As the Midwest Regional Youth of the Year, Masters will serve as an ambassador for all teens in the region and receive a $20,000 college scholarship from Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

The Benton Harbor, Michigan, native is majoring in biology on a pre-med track. In her first year at Valpo, she has found many opportunities to get involved on campus. Already she has become a member of Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity, the Black Student Organization, and Valpo’s first-generation Persistence and Success Program. In addition to these organizations, Masters also serves as a volunteer tutor with children who have special education needs, requirements and disabilities.

“There are a lot of emotions that I feel when I think about being named Midwest Regional Youth of the Year 2020 but if I could pick one, I would say grateful,” Masters says. “To know that I was chosen to represent the voice for the youth across this region is so amazing. I am so passionate about youth and speaking up to implement the change that we need to see so that we can take on future success in the world, so it was only God’s plan that got me here today. I am truly grateful.”

Sam Simpson, library supervisor, coordinated with Masters to provide a space for her in the Christopher Center to participate in the competition remotely. Each Valpo student receives our total commitment to reach their full potential, and that support comes from every aspect of campus. Her assistance was noted and appreciated by the chief executive officer for the Benton Harbor Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

“I helped coordinate logistics for Tékeidra,” Simpson says. “She is amazingly positive, and appreciative for everything she is being given through Valpo and this honor with the Boys & Girls Clubs. She is definitely an asset to the University.”