Student Spotlight – Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley announces Geneva Reyes as the 2019 Youth of the Year.
Geneva was one of six teens selected by Club staff to interview for the honor. Staff nominate teens based on their involvement in the Boys & Girls Club and their demonstrated leadership skills at the Club, in school, and at home. A panel of judges, consisting of Board members, selected Geneva amongst the group because of how well she presented herself, communicated her thoughts, and exhibited a passion for the Club, school, and community. The Boys & Girls Clubs of America Youth of the Year program is designed to promote and recognize service to the Club and community, academic performance, and contributions to family/home life. Being named Youth of the Year is the highest honor a Club member can receive through the Boys & Girls Club.
A junior at Hart High School, Geneva’s dream is to be the first in her family to graduate college. She plans on pursuing a degree in Kinesiology. She is proud to share that she has maintained a 3.9 GPA while working part-time and playing on the Hart High School Varsity Girls Soccer team. “It is, without a doubt, that I am where I am today because of all the extra help I received from the Club. With the guidance they have given me, it has helped me to set some of my highest goals.”
Geneva joined the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita in 2007 when her family moved here from Burbank. She is the second oldest in a family of four children. Her mother, Leticia, is a single-mother who works to support her family. By enrolling her children at the Boys & Girls Club, Leticia knew they were safe afterschool-with adult guidance, would receive help with their homework, and a snack. It is the extra support she needs, but Geneva says the Club has been much more, “[The Club] has never just been an after-school program but more of a second home.” She goes on to share, “The Club taught me to be kind, respectful, driven, responsible, a leader, a good sportsman, and showed me that my education is extremely important. I learned that it is easy to be mean to others, but it shows a true build of character by showing people kindness. I learned that when I am driven towards something, nothing can stand in my way, I am responsible for all my decisions, and that I must lead others by showing them good actions. Staff at the Boys & Girls Club helped mold me into who I am, they taught me lessons that I will use for the rest of my life.”
As the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Youth of the Year, Geneva wants to be a role model and inspire other teens. “I want kids and teens to be able to see that they are so much bigger than what they come from and what they have gone through. Kids shouldn’t have to be scared to go back home because they don’t know if mom and dad are fighting again. Kids shouldn’t be afraid to walk down the street. Kids shouldn’t have to have to worry because they are just kids.” Geneva will have the opportunity to share her vision in the Los Angeles County Youth of the Year competition. Youth of the Year from each of the twenty Los Angeles County Alliance Boys & Girls Clubs will be represented. She will participate in pre-sessions at ABC7 Studios to help her prepare for the competition on Thursday March 21st at the ACE Hotel in Los Angeles where the Los Angeles County Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year will be named. The LA County winner then moves on to the state level. The state winner moves to the national level.
Founded in 1968, the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley provides a second home, academic support, and teaches leadership qualities for over 5,000 local youth. Membership is just $60 a year for the first child and $45 for each additional sibling (scholarships available). Learn about the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley at www.scvbgc.org.
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