Leadership goes a long way for any athlete in the National Football League. Texans quarterback Case Keenum knows a thing or two about leadership, after being called up from the third string to the starting lineup halfway through the 2013 season.
On Thursday, another kind of leadership was recognized by Keenum when he presented Gary McCallister with the 2014 Youth of the Year award. Youth of the Year is the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston's premier recognition program for Club members, promoting service to Club, community and family; academic success; strong moral character; life goals; and poise and public speaking ability.
McCallister, who has been attending the Boys & Girls Club for the past seven years, does an exemplary job of contributing to the community. He has participated in several programs like Passport 2 Manhood, Keystone Club, Triple Play, as well as all sports.
"I'm very pumped up for the opportunity," McCallister said. "I'm so glad the Boys and Girls Club elected me to be Youth of the Year. Words can't explain how proud I am that they see me as having the capability to be someone."
The 18-year-old is currently interning with the Fifth Ward Enrichment Program while attending Phillis Wheatley High School. To add to his impressive resume of service, McCallister has ambitious plans following graduation.
"In August I'm going into the Army as a Combat Engineer to serve my country and serve my people," he said. "It's another opportunity to meet more people and make an impact."
During McCallister's reception, Keenum addressed a crowd of Club members at Finnigan Park on what it means to be a leader, whether it's in the community, in the classroom, on the football field or at home.
"I think the Texans do a great job of being involved in the community, and not just for show," Keenum said. "It means something. Just knowing Gary for 20 minutes and him getting up and speaking, he did a great job, and I'm very impressed with him. I'm glad he's going to be serving our country."
After saying a few words about his love for community service, McCallister had the opportunity to interact with the Texans quarterback.
"It's great that he could make it here," McCallister said. "He could have been in Hawaii, but he chose to be here with little old me. Thank you, sir. Thank you very much."