Bintia Sakho, demonstrates the character, leadership, and academic achievement that epitomizes the Youth of the Year program. She joined the Boys & Girls Club shortly after moving to Jersey City when she was 14. While she was born in Maryland, she moved to Guinea in West Africa when she was only 3 months old. She didn’t return to the U.S. until her sophomore year in high school. As a result, English is her third language (behind French and Susu, a dialect of Guinea). Despite that obstacle, she was ranked #11 in her senior class of 290 at Ferris High School in Jersey City.
In high school, Bintia was a member of Aspira, the Student Council, the National Honor Society and the Ferris Girl’s Varsity Tennis Team. At the Boys & Girls Club, she was the Secretary of the Keystone Griffins and a junior staff member. As a Keystoner, Bintia helped to get legislation enacted in NJ, the Boys & Girls Club Keystone Law (for which our youth received the National Keystone Program Award in 2015), and helped initiate and coordinate Our Lives Matter Youth Town Hall, a forum for over 100 high school students throughout Jersey City. She has also participated in numerous community service initiatives including food drives, several Jersey City Medical Center’s runs and the American Heart Association Walk. She also tutors many of our younger members.
Bintia lost an aunt in Guinea to brain disease because there was not one neurosurgeon in the entire nation. Her aunt had to wait more than 48 hours to be airlifted to Morocco and died prior to obtaining surgery. This had a profound impact on Bintia and she has decided to pursue a career in medicine and specialize in neurology. Her career goal is to establish a neurology clinic in Guinea so that no one will ever have to be deprived of appropriate medical care there again. She is currently a freshman at Rutgers University.