Boys & Girls Clubs of America and its Florida Area Council presented Meghan O. Serrano, partner in Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, with the 2020 Florida Board Member of the Year award during a state-wide virtual conference on September 17. This prestigious honor recognizes Serrano’s unwavering commitment to empower youth to achieve their full potential at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties.
Serrano joined the Board of Directors at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties in 2016. While she is currently chair-elect, Serrano’s dedication to the organization goes far beyond the boardroom through youth mentorship, legal counseling, financial support and visionary leadership.
“Meghan has played an instrumental role in helping us grow into one of the leading youth-serving organizations in the area,” said Bill Sadlo, President/CEO at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties. “While she lends her expertise in law, board governance and strategic planning, Meghan embodies our mission and inspires our community’s future leaders to excel in school, discover their passion and explore career paths.”
Serrano actively participates in programs that help youth get good grades, become leaders, adopt healthy habits and plan for success after high school graduation. Serrano has mentored teens who aspire to be lawyers; hosted job-shadow events for youth at Shumaker, Loop and Kendrick; connected students to networking opportunities; provided advice and guidance to help teens navigate their pathways to success; and more. She is also a lead champion of programmatic development as demonstrated by her commitment to a task force that is currently analyzing the organization’s opportunities for growth and impact in North Port.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties was also presented with the 2020 Core Program Award in Character and Leadership Development for its Youth Council, which was recently launched in response to widely publicized incidents of social and racial injustice. Youth Council brings together 21 high school students from across Sarasota and DeSoto Counties. This youth-led and youth-driven initiative seeks to address the pressing concerns and crises of our community by providing Club teens with a platform through which they can work collectively for change and towards social justice.
“Society often overlooks youth voices and disregard the validity of teens’ ideas,” said Club member Camila F., a 17-year-old senior at Riverview High School. “Our futures depend on decisions that other generations make for us. And although they make choices that will have an impact on our lives- on the world we will inherit, we are not asked if they accurately represent what we stand for. The creation of the Youth Council is crucial for us teenagers to take the lead of our narrative. It means the availability of a safe space, where all perspectives are respected and valued.”
Youth Council members meet each week on a virtual platform to learn more about the issues they have identified and to discuss how they, through advocacy and action, can bring tangible change to our local community.
To learn more about the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties, visit bgcsdc.org or call 941-366-3911.