Tag Archives: Boys & Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale

Celebrate Youth: Vivian Nguyen

Vivian Nguyen. Photo courtesy of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale.

Pinnacle High School sophomore Vivian Nguyen will be honored at the Celebrate Youth Gala & Auction on Saturday, March 31, at Talking Stick Resort. She is one of eight outstanding youth competing to advance to the state Youth of the Year competition.

Vivian says the Club’s Vestar Branch gave her a clearer perspective on life. Over the years she has learned how to find opportunities and take advantage of resources available to her in order to get ahead.

Celebrate Youth is the Club’s premier fundraising event. Individual tickets are $125. The black tie event begins with a hosted bar at 5:30pm, followed by dinner, a live auction and the Youth of the Year Ceremony.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale provide youth development services that instill strong core values and life-enhancing skills in a safe environment. The programs help promote healthy lifestyles, good character and academic success. For more information, visit bgcs.org.

Vivian’s speech

I remember getting my first pair of glasses. I remember when the teacher wrote on the board and I had to squint just to make out one word. I remember the moment when I put on my brand new pair of glasses. Everything was so clear, I fully realized what I hadn’t been seeing right. Now, glasses are a part of my everyday life and this experience is like my Boys & Girls Club story.

As a kid, I was looking at life with an unclear perspective. Before going to the Boys & Girls Club, I attended a small private school that had an after-school program called Extended Care. It was nothing compared to what the Club is. Everyday, they would hand us a snack and we were free to do what we wanted. There were no programs or clear-cut activities; everything was very unstructured. The thing I see when I reflect back is that there were no chances for me to learn about myself and my life.

My first year at the Boys & Girls Club Vestar Branch swept the fuzziness from my eyes and let me see things in a new and clear way just like my glasses did. The first person I met was the Education Coordinator at the time. I never imagined she would be the one who would encourage and support me and help get me through my first year at Vestar. She gave me my first opportunities by introducing me to programs that taught me not only leadership and respect, but gave me experiences of a lifetime. She started my Club career and provided everything I needed to get that clear perspective. She was basically my first pair of glasses.

Now that glasses are a part of my everyday life, I see everything more clearly. From the values that I have learned in the various programs I am in, to the everlasting friendships I have made, I realize these are just a few things that give me that everyday clarity.

A small girl with an unclear perspective in the world? Not anymore. Now, I am a girl who has found her perfect pair of glasses and that’s the Boys & Girls Club. I thank the Vestar Branch for all the great things I have done and making my life, a lot clearer.

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Celebrate Youth: Alyssa Coughenour

Alyssa Coughenour. Photo courtesy of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale.

Pinnacle High School senior Alyssa Coughenour will be honored as Boys & Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale’s Youth of the Year.

Alyssa credits the Club’s Thunderbirds Branch for teaching her the importance of respect — both giving and earning it. She aspires to attend Duke University to study public relations.

Alyssa will be honored at the Celebrate Youth Gala & Auction on Saturday, March 31, 2012, at Talking Stick Resort.

The gala is the Club’s premier fundraising event. Individual tickets are $125. The black tie event begins with a hosted bar at 5:30pm, followed by dinner, a live auction and the Youth of the Year Ceremony.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale provide youth development services that instill strong core values and life-enhancing skills in a safe environment. The programs help promote healthy lifestyles, good character and academic success. For more information, visit bgcs.org.

Alyssa’s speech

My facial muscles tense, my forehead wrinkled, I fixated my eyes on the inside of my eyelids. Moments earlier, they had been forced shut by an intruding red blindfold and the hands of someone whom I trusted. She twisted the cloth behind my head to ensure my blindness.

It was two years ago at the PROUD Lock In, a Boys and Girls Club event, and it was the single experience that embodies what I’ve learned about respect.

The first experience I can remember about respect was when I was Kindergarden. My name being Alyssa sounds similar to Listen, and so when the word was said through the microphone, I always perked up. Feeling like a clever Kindergardener, I realized Laura was not talking to me and I could keep talking during announcements. But the day Laura actually said my name in front of all my peers, I learned maybe I shouldn’t talk while others are talking- a basic rule of respect, but the foundation for what I’d learn in years to come.

At the club, I’d show up in my metallic purple pants and my bright polka dot backpack. I had an odd fashion sense back then, but not once did I receive a rude remark, not once did I feel weird in my purple pants. It wasn’t like that at school. At school, comments about my purple pants and poofy hair made me want to hide. It was when I got to the club that I could be myself and that I got respect.

At a young age, I learned how to respect others. However, it was the PROUD lock-in that taught me why respect was so important.

When I was blinded at the event, it only took me a few minutes to realize how dependent I was on other people. Being blind opened my eyes to circumstances other people have to live with, and I experienced first-hand what it would be like if I was not as fortunate as I am.

To this day, you’ll find the framed PRIDE Award, an award I received at the PROUD Lock-in, on top of the antique rollover desk in my room. It reminds me of the most important lesson I’ve learned in the past eighteen years- respect. People who respect others unique differences are proud of themselves for appreciating everyone regardless of their color, disabilities, or quirks. Thus, pride lies in respect, and respect, thanks to the Thunderbirds Branch, is something I have begun to fully comprehend.

Celebrate Youth: Lane Yazzie

Lane Yazzie. Photo courtesy of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale.

Lane Yazzie, a freshman at Salt River High School, is one of two members of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community who will be honored at the Celebrate Youth Gala & Auction on Saturday, March 31, at Talking Stick Resort.

Lane is a member of the Red Mountain Branch of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale, where he has learned valuable life skills while participating in many of the club’s leadership programs, including Keystone, SMART move and Money Matters.

Lane is thankful for the opportunities provided by the Club and its part in giving him the confidence and self-esteem he needs to succeed.

The Celebrate Youth gala is the Club’s premier fundraising event. Individual tickets are $125. The black tie event begins with a hosted bar at 5:30pm, followed by dinner, a live auction and the Youth of the Year Ceremony.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale provide youth development services that instill strong core values and life-enhancing skills in a safe environment. The programs help promote healthy lifestyles, good character and academic success. For more information, visit bgcs.org.

Lane’s speech

What thought comes to mind when you hear adventurous? For myself, I visualize Indiana Jones as courageous, daring, bold, and brave character. Like, Indiana Jones, the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale Red Mountain Branch provides me with the adventures in my life. On these adventures I have daily at the club, I am able to travel different places, experience new things, and most of all become confident with myself.

Discovering who I am was challenging before I became a member of the Club. It was like a huge boulder chasing me away from the treasures of life, leading me into a negative direction I did not want to go towards. During this time I made poor choices with friends, and I was dealing with personal issues with my self-esteem, and lost trust from my family which prevented me in finding the treasures I knew life had to offer. Any treasure is hard to find, and sometimes it is in places you rarely expect. It is also not easy going on your own quest by yourself; luckily my friend Angelica came to the rescue with her invite to the club one day after school when I had nowhere to go. Like the dark traitorous cave that has hidden treasures on the inside, I approached the 35 x 40 foot one room building, it made me skeptical of what was so amazing about this place. I used all the courage I had, when I entered, I was greeted with smiles, laughter, and joy from the young club members. Angelica introduced me to all the Club staff, they were friendly, and it was a warm welcoming feeling that I immediately felt safe.

The two years I have been a member, I have grown tremendously; the staff has opened their hearts and time for me. The Club gave me a secret weapon like Indiana Jones’s lasso he carries around to help defend him in time of need. My lasso is the Self Confidence I build here at the Club with peers and staff from attending daily programs like keystone, SMART moves, and Money Matters. No more running from boulders, dogging arrows, and setting off traps. The negative things in my life began to minimize, and I gain that trust back with my family because of all the positive influence and actions I do at the Club. My adventure never ended, it began here. Thank you.

Next: Youth of the Year nominee Andy Dao.

Celebrate Youth: Jackson Fogerty

Jackson Forgerty, a longtime member of the Virginia G. Piper Branch of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale, credits the Club and its programs for shaping him into the individual he is today.

His involvement over the last 10 years in programs like Leader in Training and Keystone, a leadership and service club for youth, has taught him how to be a role model to those around him. Team sports like basketball taught him the importance of teamwork and communication. Now a senior at Desert Mountain High School, Jackson plans to remaining involved in the club programs, especially basketball, while he attends college.

Kristofferson will be honored along with eight other outstanding young people at the Celebrate Youth Gala & Auction on Saturday, March 31, at Talking Stick Resort.

The gala is the Club’s premier fundraising event. Individual tickets are $125. The black tie event begins with a hosted bar at 5:30pm, followed by dinner, a live auction and the Youth of the Year Ceremony.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale provide youth development services that instill strong core values and life-enhancing skills in a safe environment. The programs help promote healthy lifestyles, good character and academic success. For more information, visit bgcs.org.

Jackson’s speech

In each stage of the past decade of my life, the Boys & Girls Club has given me what I am truly seeking and this clarity is a rare constant in my fast-paced life. I am able to summarize the impact the people, programs, experiences and opportunities the Club has provided in one brief but meaningful word. This word continues to resonate with me as I reflect on my journey with the Piper Branch. It has become the power of fulfillment.

When I first arrived at Piper almost 10 years ago, I was an impressionable new member searching for a sense of belonging. As I became more involved, Club mentors and programs influenced me to be completely committed to school, the club and my community. The Piper Branch provided a sense of satisfaction and happiness in my life as I went from a new member seeking belongingness to a well-balanced leader taking in every opportunity available.

As I developed into my teen years, what I was searching for began to change. I found the Leader in Training Program, which allowed me to have a leadership position at the Club while learning to work in a team and be responsible. A sense of fulfillment was provided by the Boys & Girls Club in this pivotal stage of my growth as I created an identity for myself at an age when so many teens struggle to find just that.

The next phase of my life was the transition from a developing teen to a secure young adult equipped to take on life’s challenges. The Club prepared me to lead my peers as Keystone President, be a positive role model for my younger brother Grant, and exhibit Club values for the hundreds of members I am able to shape each day. As I continue my journey to becoming a more capable individual, I am confident that the ideals I have acquired from the Club will enable me to live a more fulfilled life.

The Boys & Girls Club provides this strong sense of fulfillment to every individual it touches, regardless of age, position, or level of involvement. I am truly grateful for what I have received from the Club in each phase of my growth and I have confidence that what I have learned through my involvement will guide me in every decision I make and continue to give me a sense of fulfillment no matter how far life may take me from the Piper Branch. Thank You.

Next: Youth of the Year finalist Lane Yazzie.

Celebrate Youth: Kristofferson Walker

Kristofferson Walker. Photo courtesy of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale.

Kristofferson Walker, a sophomore at Seligman High School, has been selected by the Hualapai Branch of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale in Peach Springs as the chapter’s Youth of the Year. This distinction is given to one Club member in each of the Club’s branches.

A basketball lover, Kristofferson could often be seen on the Club’s courts and he admits his favorite memories are of breaking all the basketball hoops while learning to dunk.

Kristofferson aspires to one day travel the world as a doctor, a goal he knows the Boys & Girls Club can help him achieve.

Kristofferson will be honored along with eight other outstanding young people at the Celebrate Youth Gala & Auction on Saturday, March 31, at Talking Stick Resort.

The gala is the Club’s premier fundraising event. Individual tickets are $125. The black tie event begins with a hosted bar at 5:30pm, followed by dinner, a live auction and the Youth of the Year Ceremony.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale provide youth development services that instill strong core values and life-enhancing skills in a safe environment. The programs help promote healthy lifestyles, good character and academic success. For more information, visit bgcs.org.

Next: Youth of the Year finalist Jackson Fogerty.

Celebrate Youth: Doniar Mason

Doniar Mason. Photo courtesy of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale.

Doniar Mason is a student with great aspirations. He became involved with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale‘s Lehi Branch knowing it could help open doors to his future.

Doniar, who is a sophomore at Westwood High School, is particularly interested in the Big Brothers, Big Sisters mentorship program, where he proudly mentors another club member. Mason hopes to use the skills and lessons learned to help others and inspire them to be better individuals, just as he was inspired by the Club. He plans on attending college where he will study aeronautical engineering and one day hopes to fly to space.

Doniar has been honored as a Youth of the Year, a distinction giving to only one member per branch per year. He will represent his branch – and possibly be named the Youth of the Year for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale — at the Celebrate Youth Gala & Auction on Saturday, March 31, at Talking Stick Resort.

More than 30 kids compete for the honor of being named Youth of the Year for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale. Nine finalists are selected.

The gala is the Club’s premier fundraising event. Individual tickets are $125. The black tie event begins with a hosted bar at 5:30pm, followed by dinner, a live auction and the Youth of the Year Ceremony.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale provide youth development services that instill strong core values and life-enhancing skills in a safe environment. The programs help promote healthy lifestyles, good character and academic success. For more information, visit bgcs.org.

Doniar’s speech

Although I have been a member of the Lehi Branch for less than a year, I have noticed the effects this club has had on youth like me. The Club provides a safe haven for youth who are experiencing rough and challenging times and who are struggling to find a balance between home and school. My Club gives me an opportunity to better myself in not only my educational needs, but to also know what other kids my age are struggling with on a day-to-day basis. I come to this club not only for the fact that it provides me with the prospect of a college scholarship but also because it could aid me in future career pursuits.

People from past civilizations have to look back to what their societies were founded upon in order to progress forward. Like canyons once made by rushing waters, the staff at Lehi do just the same by taking time out of their day to help, to be there for any emotional support; overall, making the club a safe haven. I have seen myself not only as a product of this experience, but through the Club’s guidance, as the one who has been able to help others.

I am a Big Brother to my Little Brother, Isaiah, in my Club’s Big Brothers Big Sisters program. It turns out in only a few months, I have made an impact on him. Of course it didn’t show in one day, but as we went along, I know what I mean to him and will always make an effort because what he expects of me is how I feel about the club staff. Like the club staff, I help out in ways I can to make new members feel as welcome and become as engrossed in the Club as I am. I receive everything that this Club gives me and thrive on it to help me in everything I do from a team to the classroom. In a way, how I see Club staff, is the image I would like to portray. Who are you? Thank you.

Tomorrow: Youth of the Year finalist Colleen Campbell.

Celebrate Youth: Claudia Mendoza

Claudia Barker. Photo courtesy of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale.

Claudia Mendoza came to the United States when she was just 6 years old. It didn’t take her long to adapt, especially once she became an active member of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale’s Hartley & Ruth Barker Branch.

Claudia has been honored as the chapter’s Youth of the Year, a distinction giving to only one member per branch per year. Claudia will represent her branch – and possibly be named the Youth of the Year for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale — at the Celebrate Youth Gala & Auction on Saturday, March 31, at Talking Stick Resort.

While Claudia made many memories at the Club, her favorite is her first Keystone National Conference in Florida, where she got to visit Universal Studios. Now a junior at Coronado High School, Claudia looks forward to studying criminal justice at Arizona State University, something she couldn’t even dream of without the support of the Boys & Girls Club.

More than 30 kids compete for the honor of being named Youth of the Year for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale. Nine finalists are selected.

The gala is the Club’s premier fundraising event. Individual tickets are $125. The black tie event begins with a hosted bar at 5:30pm, followed by dinner, a live auction and the Youth of the Year Ceremony.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale provide youth development services that instill strong core values and life-enhancing skills in a safe environment. The programs help promote healthy lifestyles, good character and academic success. For more information, visit bgcs.org.

Claudia’s speech

Life does not always give you a chance to redeem yourself. I, on the other hand, can say I was fortunate to be given a shot at redemption and an opportunity to better myself.

Academically, I was doing poorly. Because my mom never had the chance to continue her education, she wanted something better for me. Through my struggles with school, I had let my mom down and she thought the best option was to transfer me to a charter school. For me that was the WORST choice ever!
The worst part was that I was missing out on MY high school experience which meant NO school assemblies, NO elective classes, NO school dances, and NO sports.

Thankfully for me, my chance presented itself in the Boys & Girls of Greater Scottsdale Hartley & Ruth Branch. The club influenced me to get back on my feet by providing staff to help me on my homework daily to get my grades back up. At first, my mom was hesitant about allowing me to come to The Club because she thought it would be a distraction for me focusing on school. That could not be further from the truth.

The Club played an important role on my grades in order to participate in programs; my grades had to be in good standing. The Club gave me the confidence to keep my grades up and join Keystone. Keystone offered me the opportunity help my community through service projects but more importantly it encouraged me to come out and help my community.

The Club has served as my support system over the past five years. Not only has The Club brought staff members into my life that now have become mentors that have thought me to be confident and have given me the tools to become a leader at The Club.

The Club has also become a place where I am just not a member but also a sister as well. When I first came to The Club I was shy, quiet, and not very sociable. Thanks to my “big brothers and sisters” that helped mold me at The Club. They also helped me in becoming the outgoing, spontaneous, and social able young women that stand before you. I now have a new role at the club and that is being a sister to my family at The Club.

I thought I would never forgive my mom for putting me in a charter school but it turned out to be my second chance because it pushed me towards the club.
I am grateful for the club that taught me perseverance to work hard and make things possible, just like I made this possible. THANK YOU!

Tomorrow: Youth of the Year finalist Doniar Mason.