COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Joseph Knight is a member at the Boys and Girls Club of Columbus, and he is a nominee for the 2014 Youth of the Year Award. He has gone from feeling like a stranger in his own environment to becoming a leader who now helps others.
By the time he was10-years-old, Knight and his family made their way from Killeen, Texas, to Columbus, Ga. He felt like an outsider at times, and he says he wasn't used to the violence he saw in his neighborhood and at his school.
He found a place to call home when he started coming to the Boys and Girls Club.
"The Boys and Girls club is a good place to be," Knight says. "It will start life off, it will start your life off great."
Knight says his life changed when he got to the Boys and Girls Club, and it helped him stay out of trouble. He says he learned how to be a respectable young man, and also focus on positive things unlike other teens he knew.
At Spencer High School, Knight was a part of the ROTC Drill Team, and in the short time of being at THE CLUB, Knight displayed leadership skills. He is now the president of the Keystone Club.
"We plan programs for the teens at the club, we do community service, go out do car washes, food drives, and blood drives," Knight explains.
He has learned valuable lessons from his grandmother, as well as his father. He tries to honor his family values by making good decisions, and putting his best foot forward in all things that he does.
"I show my selfless service by helping someone with their homework, or giving up my time to help others reconsolidate a room, or to help give out snacks during snack time."
Joseph works diligently to make sure people in the community are taken care of. He prides himself in being honest, responsible, and respectful. He motivates others to do the same.
"I give respect, and get it from others. I show that I am very responsible, I very honest, and I have great integrity," he says.
The life skills he learned from mentors at THE CLUB have pushed him to further his goals of being a software engineer in the air force.
Knight says he can now see the light at the end of the tunnel, but this would have never happened if he hadn't joined the teen center at THE CLUB. Now, he mentors other kids at the Boys and Girls Club.
He has also applied for four colleges, and is set to take the ASVAB very soon.
The Boys and Girls Club will host the "Youth of the Year, Stars for Tomorrow" event Thursday night, March 13, at 7 p.m. WTVM News Anchor Jason Dennis will host the event at the National Infantry Museum.