SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (January 18, 2022) – Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley (BGCAZ) has announced the fifth annual Renee Parsons Girls Leadership Award. Established by businesswoman and philanthropist, Renee Parsons, the award honors girls who have showcased three fundamental leadership qualities – collaboration, assertiveness and empathy – and provides the awardee the opportunity to be granted up to $80,000 of scholarship funding over four years as well as a new laptop.
Parsons surprised the 2022 honoree, Jayna Shafer, with the award via a Zoom call. During the meeting, Shafer was unaware she had already been selected as this year’s recipient and, instead, was prepared for a candidate interview with Parsons. The announcement was a wonderful shock for both Shafer and her mother who accompanied her on the call. The video can be viewed here.
“So much of what these young women are learning and accomplishing at the Boys & Girls Club are skills that I value in my own life and career,” said Parsons, Co-Founder of The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation and President and Executive Creative Director of PXG Apparel. “Jayna’s character, drive and ambition stood out right away and I know she will go on to do great things and inspire others to do the same.”
Shafer is a dedicated student, works 30 hours per week, tutors fellow BGCAZ members in math and science and is an excellent role model to her younger siblings. Shafer plans to pursue a degree in Information Technology and Software Engineering. While the number of women in STEM is growing, it is wonderful to see more young women enter the field. After college she would like to join the Navy to further her career.
“I just want her to go as far as she can and reach her dreams,” said Shafer’s mother, Jennifer. “We are so proud of her.”
While the Foundation serves a variety of youth-related causes, Parsons has personally placed a large emphasis on supporting young women and improving their access to quality education. It is because of this passion that a secondary award was created in 2021, the Renee Parsons Excellence Award. Jessica Davis was named this year’s recipient of the Excellence Award and presented up to $40,000 of scholarship funding over four years along with a new laptop.
Davis is a longstanding member of BGCAZ and caught the attention of Parsons through her dedicated volunteerism, compassion and leadership skills – becoming a mentor for many club members, serving as vice president and treasurer on numerous club committees and striving as a hardworking teammate on the boy’s football team.
For more than 75 years, BGCAZ has been creating equity and hope for youth through academic, social and workforce programming. A large focus is centered on the organization’s four priority outcomes: Academic Success; Good Character & Leadership; Healthy Lifestyles & Career Pathways; and Workforce Readiness. Through these award-winning programs, BGCAZ has been able to reach 13,000+ youth across the Valley. To learn more about BGCAZ, and its impact, please visit bgcaz.org.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley offers affordable after-school and summer programs for 13,000+ young people in grades K-12. At Clubs across the Valley, BGCAZ provides award-winning programs designed to change the lives of young people. For over 75 years, BGCAZ has been creating equity and opportunity for youth through academic, social, and workforce opportunities. We help young people make healthy decisions and focus on social and emotional development to build resilient young adults. Most importantly, we work to develop strong character and leadership skills by creating positive connections to caring adults and their community. For more information: visit bgcaz.org or on social media at @BGCArizona.
About The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation
The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation offers support to nonprofit organizations successfully working to empower, educate, nurture and nourish people during what is often the darkest time of their lives. Founded in 2012 by philanthropists and business leaders Bob and Renee Parsons to provide hope and life-changing assistance to the country’s most vulnerable populations, The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation offers critical funding at critical times to those in need. The Foundation’s giving is driven by the core belief that all people – regardless of race, religion, roots, economic status, sexual orientation or gender identity – deserve access to quality healthcare, education and a safe place to call home. Follow @WeDealInHope on social media or visit TBRPF.org, to learn more about partner organizations and the important work being done in the community.
# # #
Media Contact: Kaitlyn Kor | email@example.com | 480-410-6077