March 14, 2014

Toyota Financial Services awards new Toyota to Boys & Girls Clubs of America's National Youth of the Year winner

Toyota Financial Services (TFS), as part of its Making Life Easier for YOUth initiative, recently awarded a new Corolla to the 2013-14 Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) National Youth of the Year winner Kiana Knolland. The vehicle presentation took
place at Eddy's Toyota in Wichita, Kansas.  Representatives from TFS, Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), and BGCA were in attendance, as well as teens from Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City and Boys & Girls Clubs of South Central Kansas, where Knolland was a longstanding member.

"Kiana's achievements are truly inspiring, and we are excited about the extraordinary future that awaits her," said Al Smith, Group Vice-President, TFS Service Operations & Corporate Planning. "At Toyota, we relentlessly strive to do and be the best each day, and to improve our communities along the way… and we feel that Kiana's character and determination represent those same values."

Knolland was introduced to Boys & Girls Clubs at the age of 5, and she attributes her confidence and drive to the lessons she learned during her time there. Hers was a difficult childhood, lacking many of the opportunities and advantages most young people have. But Knolland never lost sight of her goal of becoming an attorney, and she knew that she had to take steps to secure her education. This included writing to the admissions director of a private school, a school she knew her single mother could not afford, and explaining her reasons for wanting to attend; her initiative earned her a full scholarship for her junior and seniors years.

"It has been such a pleasure watching Kiana grow from a confused child into a focused young adult," said Jeff Jacobs, Chief Professional Officer of Boys & Girls Clubs of South Central Kansas, and one of Kiana's mentors. "Kiana is one of the finest young women I have ever known and we're all so very proud of her."

Knolland now attends Howard University in Washington, D.C., and plans to pursue a career in the legal field.

"The Boys & Girls Club has been an integral part of my life," said Knolland. "I am honored to represent an organization that has had such a tremendous impact on my character and well-being."


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