OHS junior named 2024 Boys & Girls Club of North MS Youth of the Year

Published 3:26 pm Friday, February 23, 2024

Alicia Thigpen has been a part of the LOU Barksdale Boys & Girls Club of Oxford since she was 6 years old.

“It’s been a second home to me ever since,” she said.

Thigpen was named the 2024 Boys & Girls Club of North Mississippi of the Year on Feb. 15.

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She competed against five other kids who represented their respective B&G clubs.

After being selected by their local clubs, the candidates must write three essays and be interviewed by a panel of B&G representatives.

Thigpen, 17, said she wanted to take part in this year’s competition.

“I just made it my mission to get in it because I really felt like I was very confident this year,” Thigpen said.

Thigpen admitted she was nervous before the interview part of the competition but found inspiration from music.

“On the way there, my teen director Nicolas Malik Porter, was listening to Beyoncé’s new song, ‘Sixteen Carriages,’ and I had it going through my head when I was doing the interview and I just got really confident after that.”

Thigpen is now a Junior Staff member at the Oxford Boys & Girls Club, hoping to share her love for the program that she found at 6 years old to the other children there.

Alicia Thigpen is the 2024 Boys & Girls Club of North Mississippi’s Youth of the Year. With her is Unit Teen Director Nicolas Malik Porter. Photo provided

“I love that I can help make an impact on the younger kids,” she said. “I can show them what a role model is. I can be an example for them or I can be the big sister. They need people to look up. I came from a single-parent household. So, when I come here, this is where I get all the extra love and I want to share that with them.”

She plans on attending Jackson State University after she graduates from Oxford High School in 2025. She wants to earn her degree as an accountant and then return to Oxford where she plans on eventually becoming a real estate agent.

She lives with her mother and grandmother, Kenya Thigpen and Mildred Dean Thigpen.

Thigpen will represent the BGCNM at the state competition in Jackson on March 20-22.

Unit Director Kenorus Wilson has known Thigpen since she first started coming to the Oxford Boys & Girls Club.

“To see how she has thrived into a productive, respectful, and inspiring young lady within the club as well as the entire Oxford/Lafayette County community continues to be a rewarding experience daily,” Wilson said. “I’m a proud father and extremely proud of my own children, but when you have an opportunity to invest in the lives of other children it’s a blessing all within itself.

“Having the opportunity of watching Alicia working hard over the years and now being honored as 2024 Youth of the Year for the Boys & Girls clubs of North Mississippi organization is yet another rewarding experience I will forever cherish.”