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, on March 12. 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.
National Youth of the Year is BGCA’s premier recognition for teen Club members who have made outstanding contributions to their family, school, community, and local Club while overcoming personal obstacles. Nominations begin at the Club and continue through the state, regional, and national levels. Participants are chosen on local and state levels, with five regional winners meeting each September in Washington, D.C., to compete for the National Youth of the Year title. Five judges individually interview each candidate, and select the national winner.
“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.”
About Toyota Financial Services
TFS is the finance and insurance brand for Toyota in the United States, offering retail auto financing and leasing, as well as commercial equipment, truck, and fleet financing, through Toyota Motor Credit Corporation (TMCC) and Toyota Lease Trust. TFS also offers extended service contracts through Toyota Motor Insurance Services (TMIS). Lexus Financial Services is the brand for financial products for Lexus dealers and customers. TFS currently employs approximately 3,300 associates nationwide, and has assets totaling over $99.7 billion. It is part of a worldwide network of comprehensive financial services offered by Toyota Financial Services Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation. We announce material financial information using the investor relations section of our website (www.toyotafinancial.com) and SEC filings. We use these channels, press releases, and social media to communicate about our company, our services and other issues. While not all information we post on social media is of a material nature, some information could be material. Therefore, we encourage those interested in our company to review our posts on Twitter at www.twitter.com/toyotafinancial. For more information, please visit www.toyotafinancial.com.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, nearly 4,000 Clubs serve some 4 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native American lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Club programs promote academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at http://bgca.org/facebook and http://bgca.org/twitter.