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National award-winning Wichita teen to appear on ‘Today’

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, at 1:14 p.m.
  • Updated Tuesday, March 11, 2014, at 6:23 a.m.

A Wichita teen named Boys & Girls Club of America's National Youth of the Year is expected to make a guest appearance on NBC's "Today" show next week.

Kiana Knolland, 18, will be on air about 9 a.m. Tuesday, according to Jeff Jacobs, chief professional officer of Wichita-based Boys & Girls Clubs of South Central Kansas. She will appear with Tupperware Brands chairman Rick Goings to help donate millions of dollars in toys to the show's holiday toy drive, Jacobs said, and speak about Boys & Girls Clubs' work.

Knolland, a recent Wichita Collegiate School graduate, was chosen as National Youth of the Year and the organization's spokeswoman in September.

As Youth of the Year, Knolland has chatted with President Obama and former Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell, delivered the ball to the pitcher's mound during Game 3 of the World Series and is speaking at engagements across the U.S. She also has earned thousands of dollars in scholarships from Tupperware, the official sponsor of Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

Knolland, who joined Boys & Girls Club at age 5, is a freshman at Washington, D.C.'s Howard University. She is the adopted daughter of a single mother and hopes to become a federal prosecutor.

The Youth of the Year award recognizes young people who are community leaders, exhibit academic success and have triumphed over adversity or hardship.

Reach Amy Renee Leiker at 316-268-6644 or aleiker@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @amyreneeleiker.

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