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Caitlin SeilerSuccess Stories

Springfield Public Schools student, Alissa Schilling, was recently named Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year for Springfield and the state of Missouri. Learn how Launch courses have helped her make an impact on her community.

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Alissa Schilling was in first grade when she stepped through the doors of the Musgrave Unit of Boys & Girls Club in Springfield. Now, 10 years later, Alissa is set to graduate high school a year early and has just been named Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year for the state of Missouri. According to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America website, the award “recognizes outstanding contributions to a member’s family, school, community and Boys & Girls Club, as well as overcoming personal challenges and obstacles.”

One such challenge was that of graduating a year before her classmates with the help of online courses offered through Launch -- courses that include Professional Math, English 3 Honors, and Personal Finance. “Because I was able to do Launch, my schedule was more flexible, and it was easier to stack on more than the necessary amount of credits,” she says. “I was always high achieving and wanted to challenge myself. Regular classes were too easy for me, and I loved problem solving and improving my skills. I have a love for learning that can never be satisfied.”

Alissa’s next challenge will come in the form of competing this summer for the title of Midwest Regional Youth of the Year, and then hopefully on to Nationals. Being named Youth of the Year has been life-changing for Alissa. She says, “I will be able to attend the college of my dreams, and use my platform to bring awareness to the things I am passionate about, such as mental health, the environment and poverty prevention. It allows me to share my story with people of all different backgrounds, which means I will be able to inspire people from all over.” Not only that, but as the result of winning the title for both Springfield and Missouri, Alissa has already earned a collective $37,000 in scholarships to pay for her education at Missouri State University this upcoming fall.

As for her time at the Boys & Girls Club, even though she won’t be a member this fall, you will still find her stopping by to visit and volunteer any chance that she gets. And as for plans for the future, Alissa has the world at her fingertips. “I want to do a lot with the life that I have, and I’m figuring out what I want along the way,” she says. “I’m excited to experience college and make more connections throughout my community.”