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Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County held its annual Youth of the Year competition on February 26th at Colorado State University. Thirteen Junior and three Senior Youths of the Year from thirteen of the sixteen different Clubs across the county presented speeches to a panel of judges. A total of 75 guests, including family members, friends, and Club staff were there to support the Youth of the Year candidates. The winning Junior Youth of the Year is Jose Guzman, a 7th-grade student who attends New Vision Charter School in Loveland. The-winning Senior-Youth-of-the-Year, is Ashley Elisabeth Solares Caceres, a 7th-grade student who attends Boltz Middle School in Fort Collins. Through a partnership with Colorado State University, sponsoring the Youth of the Year program, Ashley was awarded a $2,500 college scholarship.
Special thanks to our competition judges: Larimer County Commissioner John Kefalas, Tracy Stegall from Thompson School District, Maggie Walsh from Colorado State University, and Brandy Alexander long-time Club supporter, former Club Volunteer, and parent of the 2016 Youth of the Year.
The Youth of the Year competition is a national Boys & Girls Clubs of America initiative to foster a new generation of leaders that are fully prepared to live and lead in a diverse, global, and integrated economy.
The Youth of the Year will be celebrated at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County’s Spring Soiree on May 20 at the Budweiser Events Center.
Senior Youth of the Year: Ashley
Ashley has been a member of the Harmony Village Club for six years and is in 7th grade at Boltz Middle School. Her favorite thing about Club is being able to participate in sports while also participating in art programs. The team at Harmony Village describes Ashley as outgoing, friendly, kind, and helpful. Her desire to help others has inspired her to want to become a therapist in the future.
Junior Youth of the Year: Jose
Jose has been a member of the Loveland-Pulliam Club for four years and is in 7th grade at New Vision. His favorite thing about Club is the variety of activities that are offered, and he enjoys playing basketball and pool the most. Jose is described as the quintessential example of a member who always strives to be kind, respectful, and thoughtful towards others. He makes everyone feel welcome, encourages the participation of others, and is always having fun. In the future, Jose wants to study medicine and neuroscience at Stanford.
The mission of Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County (BGCLC) is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. The Club environment consists of a safe place, staffed by trained professionals, offering premier youth development programs to youth ages 6-18. BGCLC provides services in Fort Collins, Estes Park, Loveland, and Wellington and serves over 2,500 youth annually.