YOY Candidates 2020
(Page will be updated monthly as we spotlight the other nominees.)
Meet the seven BGC San Dieguito teens (age 14-18) who have been nominated as a candidate for our 2020 Youth of the Year Award. These seven teens exemplify the positive impact that BGC SanDieguito has on our youth.
Bulldogs Basketball Program
For the past nine years, Quinn’s evolution from BGC San Dieguito’s Snuffy Basketball to Bulldogs Basketball has resulted in a depth of character, strength and resilience far beyond her age.
Her teammates and coaches know her as a confident and reliable leader who has demonstrated her strength and resilience first hand. Her ability to overcome getting cut from her 6th grade youth team to becoming a leader on and off the floor the past few years has been impressive. In most cases when a young girl is cut from a team, she quits and finds a new sport to play. In some cases young girls quit sports all together when having to face failure within a sport. Girls drop out of sports at 1.5 times the rate that boys do by age 14.
Not only did Quinn come back the next season and make a team, but she has also committed to getting better with each season that passes. Her commitment, confidence and courage has earned her the respect of her peers.
To quote Quinn’s own words, “I believe perseverance requires some element of courage and I’m learning that perseverance is not just the act of pushing through despite obstacles. It also requires staying positive, motivated, and maintaining your passion for the things you are doing in order to find success. Just because something might seem overwhelmingly difficult, it doesn’t mean you can’t do it or that it’s not worth doing. Perseverance is also putting yourself out there despite the fear of failure and despite the knowledge of how hard the challenge is before you.”
Polster Clubhouse, Carmel Valley
Sean has always been one to stand out due to his leadership, initiative and excellent work ethic. For the last 6 years Sean’s participation in our After School Programs, Summer Adventure Camps as both a camper and volunteer, and Youth Arts Academy private music lessons, has given Sean an understanding of the various ways The Club impacts young people. As a high schooler, Sean continues to attend The Club when so many of our youth fall off. As an older member of the program, Sean’s ability to relate to members of all ages is astonishing. He considers all the Club Kids friends despite their ages. His desire to engage in activities and converse with everyone encourages those around him to be more active and present.
– Sean Joyce
Harper/La Colonia Teen Center Solana Beach
Maribel is a truly inspiring individual. She is an honest, dependable, and an incredibly hard-working member of Boys & Girls Club San Dieguito. Maribel has always stepped up when The Club needed her. For the past ten years, her volunteer work with countless fundraisers and events, along with anything the staff may need help with has been invaluable.
“Just being around her makes you want to do better!” says Bosque Leanio, Harper Clubhouse Manager.
“Maribel has always been an absolute joy in our Clubs. As our members get older we often see their involvement with the club decline and/or their willingness to participate drop. This is certainly not the case for Maribel. Her consistent involvement and keen curiosity fosters positive discussions and bring the best out of BGC employees and members.”
– Maribel Hernandez
Riley Riggs is a two year veteran of our Griset Clubhouse in Encinitas and an integral member of our teen volunteer program, Keystone Club. Riley’s quiet and observant nature tempered with his wit, optimism and respect for his peers and our BGG Staff makes him a leader in so many ways.
Riley finds himself making a difference within and outside our Club walls through Keystone (a Boys & Girls Club Teen Service Program). He understands the importance of serving others and volunteering in our community. Riley credits BGC San Dieguito for allowing him to open up and become more social and outgoing. As a chaperone at our sixth-grade dances, you may even catch Riley bustin’ a move when he thinks no is watching!
Rancho San Dieguito Swim Team
Drew Schafer is a senior at Canyon Crest Academy and nine-year veteran of our Rancho San Dieguito Swim Team. Drew was nominated by Coach Armani from our Aquatics program for the meaningful impact he has both inside and outside of the team.
“Drew is the ultimate athlete when it comes to what coaches look for. He’s a leader, a hard worker, is goal-oriented, and can be counted on to lead by example. Even more so, what makes Drew stand out is his ability to communicate those values and standards to not only teammates his age but younger swimmers throughout our organization.” Armani Kobik, Rancho San Dieguito Lead Coach & Team Administrator
On top of being a full-time student-athlete, and involved in several Canyon Crest Academy organizations, like the drug prevention club, Drew spends his time on the weekends teaching swim lessons for our Club’s Aquatics Program to kids of all ages.
Youth Arts Academy
John is a current student of Monday Night Jazz Band and has been studying music at our Youth Arts Academy for the last 8 years.
When John was young, he wouldn’t get too frustrated by musical challenges. He would usually smile, laugh it off, and practice until he had the skill mastered. He still brings that same great attitude and sense of humor to jazz band each week. Now that he is one of the older students in the class, he has shown to be an amazing leader. He sets a great example with his musicianship, his positive attitude and great sense of humor. He is always ready and available to help whenever needed. He is smart, responsible, and polite, and will no doubt continue to inspire others through his example in the future.
Reflecting on my years at YAA, I’m struck not only by their longevity, but by what I’ve accomplished within their span: the fears I’ve overcome, the music I’ve played, the friends I’ve made. I stumbled upon a space where fear, meanness, and all the worst qualities of the human character are left at the door; replaced with integrity, kindness, and friendship unmatched in any of the other pursuits I’ve had in life.” – John Aste
Jesse has had a tremendous impact on Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito throughout his years of participation and his ongoing commitment to mentoring younger athletes. Volunteering over 200 hours, Jesse has given back to the community by coaching elementary teams, speaking on behalf of the Club, providing basketball clinics to younger members, and initiating fundraising ideas.
Jesse stands head and shoulders over most, not only in demonstrated initiative, intelligence and creativity, but also in his ability to function as a productive member of a team. His excellent communication skills, positive outlook and pleasing personality enhance his natural leadership qualities. His willingness to accept challenges and listen to input enable him to contribute thoughtful, well-reasoned approaches to helping others solve difficult problems.
If I were to calculate the hours per week and weeks per year that I’ve spent with BGC San Dieguito, the numbers would be comparable to those hours that I spend in school and with my family. There’s no accurate way of really placing a value on this other than to say that The Club and the people I’ve known have all been powerfully influential on my upbringing. Many of these people are like extended family to me, and our common bond is The Club and our love of sports…if I’m asked how to get kids involved in sports and allow them to flourish, my recommendation is always Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito.” – Jesse Snider