Ashley Delgado found the Boys and Girls Club of the East Valley’s Compadre Branch – Chandler when she was 7. Now 17, she helps embrace new teens who want to join.
She has been in the clubs’ Leadership in Training Program and served as a group leader during a daytime summer camp. As the Keystone Club’s leader she helped raised about $500 for cancer research. She also teamed up with her mother, who works for Community Services of Arizona, to allow the Keystone Club to serve food to folks at the Gilbert Senior Center.
Delgado is one of eight outstanding valley youth vying to become the Boys and Girls Clubs of East Valley’s Youth of the Year on Feb. 27. The event, which ultimately will chose one youth to represent the chapter at the statewide competition, will be held ar 5:30 p.m. at The Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre.
Delgado used to compete in various sports until she was diagnosed with a heart condition last March. This, among other serious obstacles have made her determined and committed to her family. When she was younger, her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer; Delgado watched her fight and beat it.
Her neighborhood is also has a lot of gang activity and violence, but Delgado’s parents have helped her stay on track and make good choices.
Delgado is a senior at Chandler Early College, a high school on the Chandler-Gilbert Community College campus, where she takes college classes while still in high school so she can graduate early. Her Keystone Club experience prepared her to serve on the school’s Student Council.
After high school, she would like to earn a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy at Arizona State University. Delgado hopes to work with patients diagnosed with cerebral palsy and other special needs children.
Every year, thousands of children benefit from after-school youth development programs, extended services and community support programs through the Boys & Girls Clubs of East Valley. For more information visit clubzona.org.
— Erin Saltzman