South San Francisco, CA February 4, 2020 Submitted by Aubrey Merriman, CEO, BGCNSMC
Boys & Girls Clubs of North San Mateo County (BGCNSMC) had an amazing evening at our Youth of the Year Celebration on Thursday at Box in Redwood City! This is our version of the Super Bowl! Congratulations to all of the Youth of the Year candidates: Ariana, Nathan, Rachel, Teagan, and Zachary. Special congratulations to Rachel R. for being named our 2020 Youth of the Year! We could not be more proud of what they have all accomplished. They are destined to be great. There is no denying their individual and collective greatness. We are so inspired by their example. The Youth of the Year process is one chapter in the incredible story of their lives. They are the authors of their own legacies.
Youth of the Year is a four-month long leadership development program that celebrates the remarkable lives of Boys & Girls Clubs of North San Mateo County members who have distinguished themselves as leaders, mentors, and through rising above challenging circumstances. Each Youth of the Year candidate is selected based on their active involvement in their Clubhouse, service to their community, commitment to education, mentoring, and modeling of healthy behaviors for younger Club members, all while overcoming obstacles. These amazing youngsters represent the face, voice and spirit of hope for America. Inspiring all kids to lead, succeed, and inspire. With the help of our trained staff and caring volunteers, these youth grow into confident leaders with inspirational visions and goals for their futures. During the event, guests had the chance to hear speeches from our kids about where they started, how your support has helped shaped who they are today, and what big dreams they have for the future.
Circle of Support! The Youth of the Year process exemplifies how we wrap our Club members in a circle of support. This circle is an expansive one and includes our friends at BOX.org for graciously hosting our Youth of the Year Celebration again this year; in particular, Christina Louie Dyer and Bryan Breckenridge. Our candidates benefited from committed mentors, including Liza Normandy, Rob Moore, and Ben Tan. I am certain the judging process was rewarding and difficult for our esteemed panel of judges, including Suresh Bhat from the Hewlett Foundation, Christina Louie Dyer from Box.org, Rosanne Foust from SAMCEDA, Ariane Hogan from Genentech, and Irene Wong from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Our Board of Directors, the steadfast stewards of our Club and givers of their time, talent, and treasure. We are grateful to be joined by San Mateo County Supervisor Dave Pine. Our Youth of the Year Leadership Sponsors: Tri Counties Bank, SingerLewak LLP, DPR Construction, and Norman S. Wright. Our Great Futures Sponsor: YouTube. Our Presenting Sponsor: Box.org. Thank you to our local Ross and Target stores for helping to outfit our candidates so that they could look good and feel good. Thank you to Jennifer Klein of Photos in a Flash and Jonothan Woodward of Woodward-Media for capturing photos and videos. Thank you to Everything South City for helping BGCNSMC tell our stories of impact And, the inner core of this circle of support, our family members, and staff who breathe life into our mission through their trust, sacrifice, unwavering commitment, and passion, harnessed through daily action!
Whatever It Takes! I am grappling with a disease. It’s called the “Disease of MORE.” I constantly want more members, more often, more innovation, more integration with schools and communities of need, more reduction in the opportunity and achievement gap, more equity, more access to opportunities and experiences, more investments in our organization that leads to more impact, more hope, more diverse faces and voices of leadership, and more great futures. Every kid is unique and comes through our doors with a different set of needs and circumstances, and it is our mission to ensure that each one of them has the support needed to be successful. In partnership with schools, parents, and community organizations, we do whatever it takes to provide young people with the opportunities to achieve in school and in life. There is no silver bullet to success. It takes an army of people, a safe environment, high-quality programs, and unique experiences to help level the playing field for all kids, regardless of their backgrounds and zip codes. Boys & Girls Clubs of North San Mateo County doesn’t just do one thing… we do whatever it takes to build great futures for the young people who walk through our doors. On behalf of the nearly 4500 youngsters that we serve, we are continually evolving to provide innovative life-enhancing programs that ignite interests, build character and amplify leadership, foster curiosity, facilitate discovery, cultivate ongoing relationships with caring, adult professionals, BGCNSMC is a place where young people can feel safe, connect with others, and build the skills and confidence needed to reach great futures. We see the potential in every young person, and our staff will do whatever it takes to help them fulfill their potential. We are here to help them step into their potential and become who they are meant to be. Our Youth of the Year Program would not be possible without this expansive circle of support. With your collective support, we will remain vigilant about doing whatever it takes, because whatever it takes is whatever it takes to build great futures.