Youth Recognition

YOUTH OF THE YEAR, OLIVIA GARCIA

Over the past four years, Olivia Garcia has been attending the Club. She recalls when she first walked through the doors and instantly felt a connection with the Club and its staff. This connection led her to want to strive for more. This past winter she competed in the annual Youth of the Year competition with the goal of just being able to sharing her story. When she won, she was shocked to find out she was not only the youngest Club member to have won the competition, at age 14, but would also be representing the Club and sharing her story during 2019.

Garcia explains how she has been exposed to challenges in her life she could never prepare for.  “I’m only 14 and I’ve seen more things than most adults; things someone my age shouldn’t have to deal with. I know it’s not fair, but I can either look at it that way or use the negativity for good and make the most out of it.”  Garcia said she has not always had this outlook and attributes her ability to view life differently to the relationships she built at the Club.  “Not too long ago I didn’t know how to deal with things that happened in my life. I felt so low in my life and alone. I needed a safe coping mechanism and that was the Club. I can rely on them and confide in them.”

This new outlook has led Garcia to establish a platform based on suicide prevention and mental illness. A freshman at Berlin High School, she says she witnesses peers having internal battles and trying to cope using drugs. “I know what it’s like to feel so low in your life. I want to show them they’re not alone. There are other ways to deal with things. You don’t have to do drugs or drink,” she explains. Garcia turned to art to help express herself and as a healthy coping mechanism.  She became so passionate about art that she now volunteers on the youth side of the Club teaching others different techniques and helping them create projects. This form of art therapy is something she would love to continue after she graduates in an effort to continue helping people.  “I want to help people and right now I can do that at the Club. I love volunteering on the youth side. They are so full of energy and it makes me so happy. I’m part of their Club life and that’s important to me.”

 

YOUTH OF THE MONTH

Youth of the Month recognizes Club members who have excelled at the Club.

 

2019 Youths of the Month

January – Caelyn & Logan

February – Kjrstin

March – Zeke & Angel

April – Nathali & Pedro

May – Kobe & Janelly

June – Caroline & Abby

July- Gracelyn & Lilly

August- Megan & Ricardo

September- Ciana & Riley

October- Kendra & Antony

November- Marcel & Deegan