Youth of the Year finalist: Chaniya Davis

Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 10:36 AM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - It is that time of year again... time to crown the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Chattahoochee Valley’s Youth of the Year.

Five finalists have been selected but only one will win the coveted title. This week we will be introducing you to these impressive young people.

Starting with Chaniya Davis from Carver High School who’s hoping her personality of “caring for others” will help her win.

“When you walk through the doors its like a welcoming atmosphere.”

16-year-old Chaniya Davis just can’t say enough about the positive impact the Boys and Girls Clubs have had on her life. She’s been coming to different centers in Columbus since she was about 6 - so more than 9 years. For her, it’s more than a club.

“They’ve given me the support that I’ve needed, that I didn’t even know I needed but they’ve given me support, motivation... the family,” said Davis.

As part of that Boys and Girls Club family, Chaniya participates in the Keystone Club and ‘The Ladies of Integrity’ - a girls empowerment group which helped give her the confidence to try and become the Youth of the Year for the second time.

“I was a very, very shy person a few years ago and I feel like my self esteem has skyrocketed since then,” said Davis. “From the beginning to the end, I felt like it was a life learning process.”

A process that Chaniya says she’s happy she decided to do, even though she didn’t win Youth of the Year last year.

This Carver High junior still has a story to tell and she’s hoping her message will come through loud and clear this time around.

“I have the power to lift people up, to keep pushing toward their dreams... like giving them a voice and helping them throughout the process,” said Davis.

Chaniya has lots of dreams of her own, though she’s not quite sure of her career path right now. She plans to attend college. She’s currently dually enrolled at Columbus Tech and is taking all AP courses. When asked what she considered her best feature? She says having the ability to be sympathetic to others.

“Of course I’ve been sympathetic all my life, but it’s a personal thing because I don’t think I’ve always been shown sympathy,” said Davis. “And I like to see others happy.”

The Youth of the year winner will be announced Thursday evening at the Bibb Mill Event Center.