Elkhart teen performing at Boys & Girls Clubs of America national conference

NOW: Elkhart teen performing at Boys & Girls Clubs of America national conference

ELKHART, Ind. -- “When she started coming to the club later on in middle school that was when I was like oh wow she can sing, she can sing sing,” says Quenton Williams, Media Performance Arts Supervisor for the Boys & Girls Club. “She is like one of those, I tell her all of the time she is an uncut diamond, she already has all of that talent it’s just been working on fine tuning it.”

“The young lady is just beyond talented, she is just a natural and when she sings you cannot do anything but smile or cry with joy,” says Kyla Kirkdendoll, Teen Supervisor at the Elkhart Teen Club.  

This is Chyniah Woods.

“I have been singing for as long as I can remember I have always been a musical girl, my family were all just musically inclined people, so I have been singing in choirs for as long as I can remember.”

The young singer first got her start behind the microphone when she was a little girl. Now, after years of hard work and dedication, the seventeen-year-old is taking her talent to the next level.

“I was speechless literally I could not get out the words, I was stumbling like oh ok,” says Woods.  “I am very excited at first I was nervous, but now it’s time, and it is coming up in two weeks. So, now it is game time, and I got to show the world what I am working with.”

Chyniah is set to sing at the National Boys & Girls Clubs of America conference. The Elkhart teen is one of 10 club members from around the country selected to perform in Chicago.

“It is a dream come true, it really is, the fact that I am doing something at this age 17 years old and is something I want to do for the rest of my life, and this is my start it has really opened my eyes that this is something I want to do for the rest of my life.”

Woods credits her success to both her parents and friends, but also the Elkhart County Boys and Girls club. It was their she built relationships that go beyond after school activities, but a mentorship, too.

“Knowing that I am the person knowing that I am that person who she can go to outside of her parents means a whole lot,” says Kirkendoll. “I do not have younger siblings I am the youngest, I do not have kids that’s a big part of it too it means a whole lot to me”

Quenton Williams has also played an important role in the rising stars career as the media performance arts advisor. For him, having accessible equipment and resources for aspiring artists is crucial for these young people. Williams has worked with Woods when she first started coming to the club, hoping to give her every opportunity to become the performer he knows she can be.

“In every way shape or form, I am trying to give them a chance to be able to say answer that question well if I had the equipment if I had the gear if I had the time could I do this for real, that is my goal,” says Williams.  

And what comes next for the talented Chyniah? Keep going, and keep dreaming, all to make a difference.

“Never give up, you have falls you’ll stumble but you will always get back up and be on top in the end, do not ever give up. My ultimate dream is to change people’s lives with my voice, if I can be a blessing to others I want to do that with the gift that god gave me, the blessing I received from him”

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