CSU freshman brings home national honor

Malachi Haynes is proud to be a Colorado State University Ram. And CSU is proud of Haynes.

On Sept. 25, on a brightly lit stage in Washington, D.C., the 18-year-old Haynes was named the 2018-19 Boys & Girls Clubs National Youth of the Year.

Upon winning, Haynes took the mic and gave away the glory.

“I thanked the Boys & Girls Club for molding me into the person I am today,” said Haynes. “And I thanked all the other Youth of the Year finalists. I was so inspired by them. I was surrounded by greatness in that moment.”

Haynes said that getting to know the youth finalists from across the country was a “breath of fresh air,” as they all shared the same drive and desire to change the world as he does.

“They are all fantastic – they’re pushing me to be my best. It makes me want to be great just like them,” he said.

Haynes returns later in the week to his life at CSU as a freshman Health and Exercise Science major. Just over a month into his college career, Haynes is enjoying his classes, as well as the weekly Uno games in his residence hall.

“It’s a lot of fun – I like the freedom. I feel really welcome at CSU,” he said.

Malachi Haynes and Tonja Mitchell, senior program director for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver.

Inspiring others

CSU President Tony Frank met Haynes this summer to celebrate his regional award, and shared his recognition of Malachi’s latest accomplishment.

“All of us at CSU are enormously proud of Malachi – both for who he is and for earning this outstanding recognition from the Boys & Girls Clubs of America,” Dr. Frank said. “Malachi is truly a role model who has transformed adversity in his own life into a passion for serving and inspiring others.”

“CSU is a proud partner with the Boys & Girls Club because of the opportunities they create for young people to discover and cultivate the best in themselves and then to give back to others,” Frank added. “Malachi embodies that spirit and the CSU mission of service and lifelong learning, and we are so pleased to see him recognized for all he has achieved.”

Erin Porteous, Chief Executive Officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver, agreed.

“We are so proud of Malachi Haynes – our 2018 National Youth of the Year. Malachi has been a Boys & Girls Club member for 12 years and has grown from being a Club kid to a Club leader. Malachi has an incredible work ethic, a strong commitment to the Clubs and deserves to win this prestigious award, representing Club kids in Colorado, and across the nation,” Porteous said.

So, what’s next for Haynes after winning such a prestigious national award?

More of the same. He plans to continue his work of inspiring the next generation and creating impact.

“I’m excited to take on this challenge – this is what life has in store for me,” he said. “I found my purpose of mentoring and leadership at the Boys & Girls Club. I want to put forward a sense of ‘I can do this, too,’ and show students that we can actually make some changes – changes that are not too far out. Changes that are attainable.”

About the Youth of the Year Award

Sponsor support provides college scholarships to Youth of the Year participants at different levels of the award, including $5,000 at the state level, up to $40,000 at the regional level, and as much as $100,000 at the national level.


Colorado State University and Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver have an official partnership aligned around a mission of access and the opportunity for students to see that higher education is a viable option for their future. CSU is the first official higher education partner of BGCMD and currently hosts students on campus several times a year, participates in club activities, provides support to students during their time as members of BGCMD, and offers scholarship opportunities and wraparound support for members who attend CSU to ensure success during their time at the University.