Established in 1947, Youth of the Year is BGCA’s premier recognition program for Club members, promoting service to Club, community and family; academic success; strong moral character; life goals; and poise and public speaking ability. The program is most effective when used as a year-round tool for fostering young people’s character, personal growth and leadership qualities.
Enter the Boys & Girls Club of the Tri-County Area and you’ll see a young man full of spirit, charisma, and motivation. He is hard at work on a number of projects; the National Keystone Project as the Keystone President, his Youth of the Year speech, or his high school homework. This is Jonathan Cervantes. A young man who is inspired to succeed and to be more than what is expected of him.
At times, things haven’t gone as planned for Jonathan, but he has learned to be resilient and strong-willed through his trying times. At a young age, Jonathan was witness to violence in his community in Chicago. His family made a drastic change and moved from Chicago to Berlin and made a fresh start with little, to nothing. Although things haven’t been easy, that doesn’t deter Jonathan from aspiring to be better, to do more.
As Jonathan has grown, he has taken a leadership role throughout the club and amongst his peers. At any time, you can find him helping staff, tutoring the youth or being a social leader in the Teen Center. His growth has led to him becoming the Youth of the Year for the Boys & Girls Club of the Tri-County Area and as he looks forward to the challenges that lie ahead.
Jonathan plans to be the first in his family to go to college and earn a degree. He’s currently interested in attending Arizona State University or Woodbury University and studying marketing and foreign language. He wants to become a translator for the US embassy. When asked about his future Jonathan replied, “Don’t let anyone get in the way of accomplishing your dreams. You only live once, make the most of it.”
YOUTH OF THE MONTH
Youth of the Month recognizes Club members that have shown outstanding character while at the Club.
2017 Youths of the Month
January – Logan and Julian
February – Carsen and Elise
March – Alaina and Juan
April – Abigail and Emily
May – Daisy and Chasity
June – Iesha and Jeremy