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2018 Youth of the Year Finalists

Anthony R. – Jordan Club Youth of the Year

A Club member since he was six years old, Anthony exemplifies what it means to be a “Club Kid.” When Anthony first walked through our doors, he was a little hesitant. But he eventually came out of his shell and flourished at the Club, becoming an engaging young man in the process. As a natural leader and strong student, Anthony is currently the president of Keystone and the Hiking Club. He also enjoys being a mentor to his peers in the Teen Center and embraces his role as a Junior Staff, where he serves as a role model for younger members. Anthony volunteers his time at various community service activities and promotes nonviolence among youth. Although his time with us is almost over, Anthony says he will always remain in touch with the place that helped shape who he is today. He is a responsible and hardworking young man who serves as a positive example for others. These touchstone qualities make him very deserving of his Youth of the Year selection. Anthony will head to Salem State University in the fall to study Sports Management.

Clara B. – Mattapan Teen Center Youth of the Year

A member of the Mattapan Teen Center (MTC) for the past three years, Clara appreciates all the rewarding programs and opportunities that are available at the MTC. She credits the Club with helping her become a caring and responsible individual, and allowing her to pursue music – a budding passion of hers. Teachers and Club staff alike praise Clara’s dedication to being a leader for her peers, both at school and the Club. They describe her as a hardworking and enthusiastic individual. An impressive public speaker, Clara often leads informational tours for donors and prospective Club members. She spends her afternoons tutoring fellow members in the Club’s knowledge lab, and then heads off to the Club’s music studio to practice her singing (she has sung in nearly every MTC performance). She’s also an avid bass guitarist. “Music has a way of healing hard times,” she says. Her passion for music and commitment to helping others will serve her well as she pursues a nursing career at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences this fall.

Jose R. – Edgerley Family South Boston Club Youth of the Year

Jose joined the Club when he was nine years old. From his early days in social recreation to later becoming a member of Junior Staff, Jose has taken every opportunity presented to him and excelled at the Club. Today, he participates in the wheelchair basketball team, Keystone Club, and the culinary arts program. His consistent attendance and positive attitude make him an invaluable asset at BGCB. Jose is excited about the opportunity to give back to a place that has given him so much. His vision for America’s youth is to raise awareness about the unique challenges facing students with learning disabilities. Jose’s own experiences have inspired him to advocate for others so that every student can reach their full potential. He says the Club has really helped him understand the importance of being kind and helpful to others. Jose recently received the Bunkley Award, which recognizes Club members who readily offer to help peers, staff, and other community members. He plans to study Culinary Arts at Bunker Hill Community College this fall.

Joseph G. – Charlestown Club Youth of the Year

Joe’s goal is to make the world a better place, one step at a time. He makes strides toward this goal every day through his positive attitude and continued involvement in his school, his Club, and his community as a whole. From his first day at the Club, Joe has been an active member, participating in as many Club activities as possible. He also makes a difference in his community by helping those in need and promoting equal opportunities for everyone. Joe’s maturity and enthusiasm make him a role model to younger Club members. He also received the Brickley Award, which is given to individuals who do good deeds, quietly, without expecting to be recognized for them. When asked about his vision for America’s youth, Joe said he wants to address the educational gap that exists within communities of different socioeconomic statuses. He hopes that one day every child will have the opportunity to achieve their dreams, regardless of their background or financial footing. Joe plans to study Politics and Law at Harvard College this fall.

Karma F. – Berkshire Partners Blue Hill Club Youth of the Year!

Karma first entered the Club at the age of six. She says that BGCB has served as a safe haven for her and is like a second home. The support and resources provided by the Club staff opened so many opportunities for her. These opportunities helped her see her true potential and create goals for the future. Karma now takes the skills and lessons she learned from the Club and gives back to her community. Staff describes Karma as a compassionate, self-aware, and an exceptional role model for her peers. As president of Keystone, she leads her peers in planning community engagement opportunities. Through her multiple leadership roles – including on Junior staff – Karma acts as a mentor to younger members and assists Club staff. When discussing her personal brand, Karma emphasizes she is a hard worker and passionate about the importance of education. That’s why she is so committed to her academics, which is evident through her ongoing success in the METCO program. Karma hopes to attend Simmons College and become a pediatrician one day.