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Face of Boys & Girls Clubs earns top honor
Steven Mickens, Chief Professional Officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hall County, presents Alexis Hawks with the clubs' Youth of the Year Award on Friday afternoon at the Atlanta Falcons complex in Flowery Branch. - photo by Scott Rogers | The Times

"Alexis is what you would call the total package," Jason Pleasant, Boys & Girls Clubs of Hall County program director said.

"She's pretty, she's smart, she's witty, she's a leader. If there was a face for the Boys & Girls Clubs, Alexis would be our face."

Alexis Hawks was given the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hall County's Youth of the Year award Friday at the Atlanta Falcons complex in Flowery Branch. The award is the highest honor a club member can receive.

Hawks, Tyeisha Williams, Jasmine Jenkins and DeDrika Stovall competed for the title in front of a panel of judges earlier this week.

Hawks will go on to the state competition, where she could win a $1,000 scholarship.

Hawks will graduate from Gainesville High School and attend North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, N.C., in the fall.

She intends to major in chemistry, and after earning her bachelor's degree, she hopes to go to Emory University in Atlanta to study medicine. She said she wants to pursue a career in pediatrics.

"I love helping others and I love kids and I love the medical field," Hawks said.

Hawks is described as a respectable, well-mannered young woman who is an excellent role model to the younger kids at Boys and Girls Club.

"The kids get a chance to see Alexis at a lot of community events and a lot of high school events. She's a cheerleader, she's the homecoming queen ... the smaller kids they're cheering and looking at her," Derrick Caldwell, teen unit director, said.

Not only is she a role model to the other children at Boys & Girls Clubs but also to her two sisters. Hawks said she was glad to have her sisters especially when they were younger and traveling a lot, following their father from church to church.

Hawks said growing up as a preacher's daughter wasn't always easy.

Constant travel and the stereotypes that come from her father's calling made it difficult to make friends.

She said being in the Boys & Girls Clubs helped her to open up and make friends.

"There wasn't such thing as normal," she said. "Like in school, you've got this crowd and this crowd but at Boys & Girls Clubs, we were all the same. Everybody has something to offer."

Pleasant said he watched Hawks grow from a shy sixth-grader who kept to herself, to who she is today: a young woman capable of captivating a room, telling her story and being a leader.

"Through the years, you saw she went from just being a student to being a peer leader, to now she steps out and says she wants to cheer. Now she says she wants to run for homecoming queen. You know, I just saw her evolve from a quiet young girl to a nice young woman," Pleasant said.