Romona's Kids: 2014 Youth of the Year - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Romona's Kids: 2014 Youth of the Year

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Jasmyne Johnson, Boys and Girls Club "Youth of the Year" Jasmyne Johnson, Boys and Girls Club "Youth of the Year"

A lot of Cleveland children grow up seeing violence on the streets, and even losing loved ones to it -- but the Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland is giving kids a safe place where they can reach their full potential.

This week's Romona's Kid is an inspirational teen recently named the club's "Youth of the Year."

Most weekdays you can find 17-year-old Jasmyne Johnson at the Mount Pleasant Boys and Girls Clubs mentoring younger kids and giving back to the place that may have saved her life.

Jasmyne's dad left when she was five, making her mom a single mother of two, who worked long hours.

"Believe it or not, I used to run around the streets with other little girls, and we used to get into so much trouble, destruction," said Jasmyne Johnson.

Some neighbors suggested the Mount Pleasant Boys and Girls Club and it turned her life around!

"It gave me real hope, I could really see a real future, and it gave me an even better support system," Jasmyne Johnson said. 

Jasmyne says if it wasn't for the club, she might have ended up a statistic.

"As an African-American woman, there are so many statistics about us. Some people said that I would have babies by the time I graduated from high school, or use drugs, but, I'm not another statistic," added Jasmyne Johnson.

Jasmyne will graduate from John Hay High School this June with a 4.3 GPA and she already has 64 credits earned at Cleveland State.

She wants to be a teacher someday and has a message for kids who feel disillusioned - or hopeless.

"Don't give up. The more you want it, the harder you should try," said Jasmyne Johnson.

Jasmyne's character and leadership was on display as she got up in front  of local leaders to accept her award!

"A lot of things happened over the years and to this day, as Miss Michelle always says, 'we still rise.' So thank you for all the things you all have done for me, thank you for the support and I'm honored to accept the award for 2014 Youth of the Year."

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