Success Stories: Knowing you've made a difference... makes it all worth it!

Dago Villarreal- 2014 Youth of the Year Candidate

Be Gratifying

Dago has been servicing his community since he was just a young boy.  He enjoys helping others in need and feels volunteering is an extremely gratifying experience.  The many various organizations he helps out have shaped Dago into an insightful, humble individual who learns from others’ experiences and is always willing to take a good piece of advice.  As a chess player, a very good athlete, and charming young man Dago is a great role model for the kids at the Club.


Janice Montemayor- 2014 Youth of the Year Finalist

Be Encouraging

Janice doesn’t give into peer pressure which she credits her mother for.  Seeing her mom struggle, having to raise 4 kids by herself because her father was sent to prison over 10 years ago has given her the independence and drive to do more for herself and her family.  She is a solid rock and a beacon of light, inspiring and positive for her younger brothers and sisters.  She is the oldest and now the sole breadwinner of her household.  Janice is the role model to her brothers and sisters, and this keeps her focused on staying out of trouble and succeeding in school.


Eliza Montemayor- 2014 Youth of the Year Candidate

Be the Change

Eliza has big shoes to fill.  Her older sister has set great expectations for her and her brother.  Her sister has also showed her how to be responsible, caring and serviceable to her family, the Club and the Community.  Living with a single parent, growing up with an incarcerated  father  and not understanding has not been easy for her, especially since she is constantly compared to him.  Living in public housing  with many younger children going through similar experience Eliza’s empathy has been so impactful to the members at the Club.  Eliza wants to pursue a career in Criminal Justice as a probation officer in order to continue making a difference in the lives of those who have chosen the wrong path, the way  she  could have.


Reyes Garcia- 2014 Youth of the Year Finalist

Be Unique

The person Reyes is today is certainly not the person he was just two years ago.  His experience at the Boys & Girls Club has made him a personable, friendly, outgoing teen who loves experiencing new things.  He was transformed from a  introverted, shy teen who didn’t want to be seen nor cared to make any friends.  His father, a long distance truck driver and his mother a full time student and employee  were away from the home leaving Reyes to be raised mostly by his older sister.   Reyes mostly  stuck to himself and tried to go unnoticed as much as possible.  Reyes credits his new found outlook on life, his growing self-confidence, and his decision to pursue a career in Performing Arts to his experience with the Jr Staff program at the Club.


Krista Armstrong- 2014 Youth of the Year Candidate

Be a Survivor

One cannot help but smile and feel energized when being around such a positive person like Krista. Her bubbly, caring personality shines through her bright eyes and contagious smile.  However things were not always happy in Krista’s life.  Born addicted to cocaine and separated from her brothers and sisters in different foster homes, Krista has been fortunate to find a stable loving home with her aunt.  Unlike two siblings who took their lives  Krista rose above the statistics and  lives her life whole heartedly, appreciating every breath she takes.


Christian Villarreal- 2014 Youth of the Year

Be Strong

For such a young age Christian has demonstrated a maturity unlike his peers.  Quiet and soft-spoken Christian leads by example and doesn’t just go with what’s “cool” instead he always does the right thing. He has experienced tragedy when his parents divorced and then had to deal with accepting his mother’s same sex partner but he has graciously rose above it with understanding, compassion, and composure. He has also helped his younger brother make sense of it all after it greatly affected his brother behavior. Christian has a strong faith and close ties with his family.  He is dedicated to his studies and is very athletic, already making the varsity teams in sports as barely a freshmen.


Adrian Rodriguez- 2014 Youth of the Year Candidate

Be Admirable

Adrian is a good ol’ boy, he has lived on a ranch his whole life with family and extended family his dog and seven horses.  He and his family are devout church goers, which has greatly influenced him to always lend a helping hand to others.  Adrian enjoys attending the Club because he can be himself and also he understands there are many children who could use his help or simply just a friend. Adrian has been an admirable caretaker and role model for his younger brother.  He plans to graduate high school with high honors and complete college in order to set the right example for his brother.


Adrianita Salas- 2013 Youth of the Year Finalist

Be Radiant

Adrianita doesn’t want to become just another statistic of teenage single mothers like her oldest sister is. She has seen her sister and her mother struggle financially and be unable to get an education which is why Adrianita works hard in school and in everything she does. She’s in band, JV soccer, AVID and volunteers her time at the Club. Adrianita always has a positive attitude, a smile on her face and is constantly kind to people. She has a serious passion for animals, especially sea turtles and plans to become a Marine Biologist.


Janice Montemayor- 2013 Youth of the Year Candidate

Be Encouraging

Janice doesn’t give into peer pressure which she credits her mother for. Seeing her mom struggle, having to raise 4 kids by herself because her father was sent to prison over 10 years ago, she stays positive for her younger brothers and sisters.  She is the oldest and she takes care of the home while her mother struggles to work 2 jobs.  Janice is the role model to her brothers and sisters, and this keeps her focused on staying out of trouble and succeeding in school.


Elizabeth Tamez- 2013 Youth of the Year Candidate

Be Grateful

Elizabeth is one of the youngest in her large family. She has four other siblings that have supported her and have given her both good and bad examples. Both her parents work as well as her siblings leaving her to often fend for herself. Being one of the youngest she has had to sometime fight to get attention, to be heard, and not be left out of family decisions.  Don’t feel sorry for her, she has developed a passion for debating, negotiation and mediating and is planning on pursuing a career as a lawyer.