SJA is proud to announce that junior Daijahnay Canady has been named the Boys & Girls Clubs Youth of the Year for the state of Wisconsin, the highest honor given to Boys & Girls Club members. Canady competed against thousands of other teens in Wisconsin to earn this honor. A survivor of sexual assault, Canady shares her journey of acceptance and self-discovery.
Canady transferred to St. Joan Antida High School two years ago and joined the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee. At Denim Day, an event meant to raise awareness about sexual assault, Canady had a revelation.
"Don't let your past be an excuse for what you do now, because you have to change," Canady said.
Inspired by the #MeToo movement, Canady is creating a program called SPEAK to help others like her find their inner voice.
"I have made so much positive life progress over the past couple of years, but sharing something as personal as sexual abuse is scary," said Canady. "Ultimately, I decided if sharing my story can help other people on their journey to healing, then it is well worth facing down my own fears."
This summer, Canady will compete at the regional level in hopes of winning the national title of Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year.
"Daijahnay is a remarkable young lady," said Paul Gessner, Head of School at St. Joan Antida High School. "From the day she entered the doors at St. Joan's as a transfer student, we knew she had great potential. Daijahnay's determination to overcome significant life challenges led her to leverage opportunities, including the Boys & Girls Club programs. She's grown tremendously as a student, as a leader for her peers, and now as an advocate."