YOUTH OF THE YEAR
Youth of the Year
Each year the Boys and Girls Club of Truckee Meadows selects a Male and Female Youth of the Year who represent the “Best of the Best” of what Club members can achieve during their time at the Boys & Girls Club. These members are honored at the Annual Awards Banquet in November. To read more about the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Youth of the Year program click the button.
Natalie credits the Club with building the foundation for the person she is today. Her Boys & Girls Club story began nearly a decade ago, when her mom found Club to be the safe and affordable afterschool care they both needed. At the Club, Natalie found friends, mentors and a positive environment where she has flourished into a driven and determined young woman with an extraordinarily bright future.
“Because of the Club, I was able to do things that I never thought I would do,” Joseph shared. Even through a rocky childhood, Joseph saw the Club as a safe place full of opportunities and new experiences. Now a high school senior with his sights set on college, Joseph is using his own experiences to impact the lives of younger Club members and inspire all who meet him.
Through many ups and downs in her 17 years of life, Kacie found the support and consistency she needed at the Boys & Girls Club. The Club’s guidance helped her navigate through difficulties and shape her into the bright, driven young lady she is today. A senior at Sparks High School, Kacie stands out as a leader among her peers and a positive example to younger Club members.
A shy child, Jared had trouble making connections with others, but at the Boys & Girls Club, he found his outlet in sports. His bonds with Club staff through athletics helped drive him to succeed, both on and off the field. Today, Jared is a Leader in Training, acting as a mentor to younger kids. He is First Char in Galena's Camber Orchestra and he will graduate from Galena High School this spring, and will no doubt continue to shine as the all-star he has become.
Gissel Gonzales Aguilar
attend college next fall to become a nuclear medicine technologist.
Alex Gasetoto and Tracy Herrera
Tracy Herrera: Born with a disability to immigrant parents, Tracy faced cultural, social and language barriers right from the start. She struggled in school and withdrew from the world until she became a member of the Boys & Girls Club. At the Club, she found the acceptance she craved and the confidence she needed to succeed. Today, as a 17-year-old high school senior, Tracy is excelling in school and volunteers her time at the Club every day to help children who aren’t much different than she once was.
Like so many young girls, Tiffany grew up searching for acceptance and belonging. Surrounded by many negative influences as a youngster, her pursuit unfortunately brought her down some wrong paths. But, she refused to give up and eventually found her outlet: dance. As her passion for dance grew, she connected with positive friends and influences that led her to the Boys & Girls Club. Today, as a 17-year-old senior at ACE High School, Tiffany is looking forward to a bright future.
Tiffany is an important member of the dance program at The Club at the Larry D. Johnson Community Center and has found acceptance and belonging with the staff and her peers at the Club. Even through the most challenging times, Tiffany refused to give up hope, and today she stand as an example that with determination and hard work, anything is possible. It is for these reasons that Tiffany has been selected as the 2010 Female Youth of the Year candidate.
Emmanuel Williams joined the Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows at the age of 5, after relocating to Northern Nevada from Nashville, Tenn. to live with his grandparents and start fresh after a difficult home life.
At the Club, Emmanuel, his three brothers and a sister found their second family, a positive place to pursue their passions and find a path to success. With mentorship at the Club and the support of Grandma and Grandpa Love, Emmanuel has become an accomplished musician and athlete. The 18-year-old Hug High School student also excels in the classroom.
At age 12 and 13, Emmanuel’s involvement with the Club grew. He became involved in programs like Leaders in Training, Keystone Club and Money Matters, to name a few. In the teen center at the East 9th Street location, Emmanuel is known among his peers as a leader, always arriving with a smile, providing guidance for younger members, and inspiring the members who will follow in his footsteps. With help and guidance from Club staff, Emmanuel has developed a vision for his future that includes college and a career in the music industry. He started attending Crown College in Minnesota this winter. Emmanuel’s perseverance, upbeat attitude and dedication to helping others have earned him the honor of 2010 Male Youth of the Year.