Tag Archives: Boys & Girls Club

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.

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Youth of the Year nominee Martha Ramirez

From the day a then 12-year-old Martha Ramirez cut the ribbon to open the Ed Robson Family Branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix, she has been attending nearly every day, laying the foundation for a successful future.

Martha Ramirez. Photo by Nancy Crase/CrasePhoto.

Her childhood was cut short because of complications at home including financial  difficulties and an often absent father. The club offered her a place to be a kid again.

Ramirez is one of 12 outstanding Valley youth vying to become the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix Youth of the Year during the “Today’s Kids, Tomorrow’s Stars” event Feb. 18. The event, which ultimately will chose one youth to represent the chapter at the statewide competition, will be held from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m. at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa.

Ramirez learned a lot about personal responsibility, the value of hard work and tenacity from her mother, but the 17-year-old says she is determined to set a different course for her own life — a course that includes being the first in her family to graduate from college.

“The club has more support than even a friend,” she says. “If you don’t have a place where you go after school, the club is a great environment to call home.”

Ramirez takes honor classes at North Canyon High School because of encouragement she received at her club. She also uses the club’s college preparation programs to prepare for her future.

“If I didn’t have the Boys & Girls Club in my life, I wouldn’t know how to deal with, and overcome, my obstacles. I would be running away from them,” Ramirez says.

Ramirez volunteers her Friday nights to “Chick Flick Fridays,” a program to build self-esteem for middle school aged girls.

She also goes back to her elementary school and mentors younger kids in the Camp Swift program. “I help the community by making positive actions, by changing myself to become a better leader in my community,” she says.

Every year, thousands of children benefit from after-school youth development programs, extended services and community support programs through the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix’ 12 clubhouses, dental clinic and outreach programs. For more information, visit bgcmp.org.

Erin Saltzman

Tomorrow: Nominee Juan Salas.

Youth of the Year nominee Kallie LaForest

Kallie LaForest was 9 years old when she first started going to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix Louis & Elizabeth Sands Branch. She has remained an active member ever since.

She says the best part of attending the club is the caring, supportive staff members. LaForest is especially grateful to the staff for introducing her to art, which is now one of her favorite hobbies in and outside the club.

Kallie LaForest. Photo by Nancy Crase/CrasePhoto.

LaForest is one of 12 outstanding Valley youth vying to become the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix Youth of the Year during the “Today’s Kids, Tomorrow’s Stars” event Feb. 18. The event, which ultimately will chose one youth to represent the chapter at the statewide competition, will be held from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m. at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa.

“The staff showed me how much fun art can be and they’ve also been there to help me with my homework so I can stay on track to go to college,” she says.

LaForest enjoys helping the younger members with art or with homework problems.

“It’s so much fun to work with the younger club members. Being a part of the club has helped me realize that I want to go to college and build a career working with kids,” she says.

The Deer Valley High School senior is on the Honor Roll and a member of the National Honor Society and the National Spanish Honor Society.

The club has taught LaForest the importance of community. She also volunteers her time to an organization that uses horses as therapy for children with special needs.

“I think it’s important to give back to the community because it has helped me so much,” she says.

LaForest plans to go to Arizona State University to study education to become a teacher or pediatrician.

Every year, thousands of children benefit from after-school youth development programs, extended services and community support programs through the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix’ 12 clubhouses, dental clinic and outreach programs. For more information, visit bgcmp.org.

Erin Saltzman

Tomorrow: Nominee Martha Ramirez.

Youth of the Year nominee Chloe Johnson

Chloe Johnson. Photo by Nancy Crase/CrasePhoto.

Chloe Johnson, a junior at St. Mary’s High School, has spent countless time at the MLB All-Star Arizona Diamondbacks Branch of the Boys &Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix. She says it has felt like her second home since she was 5 years old. Johnson  is one of 12 outstanding Valley youth vying to become the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix Youth of the Year during the “Today’s Kids, Tomorrow’s Stars” event Feb. 18. The event, which ultimately will chose one youth to represent the chapter at the statewide competition, will be held from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m. at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa. For 12 years, the club provided Johnson with structure and support after school. She spent time doing art, got help with her homework and spent recreational time with friends. ” We would do our homework, then take art classes or learn about computers, but it never felt like learning. It’s also where I played basketball and developed the skills that it takes to be a champion,” Johnson says. Honing those skills at the club helped her advance at St. Mary’s High School to become an honors student and varsity athlete. She was first introduced to her love of basketball at her a club staff member. “Daniel taught me how to play basketball,” she says. “It brings so much joy into my life; I now enjoy going to my club and teaching the younger members how to play.” She still goes back to the club to volunteer. She is also involved with community service projects at her church and is on her school’s varsity basketball team. Johnson is also member of her school’s Black Student Union, Letterman’s Club and Youth for Life Culture Club. Johnson was awarded the AIA Student Athlete Award for Excellence. After high school, she wants to attend an ivy league college on athletic scholarship. She plans to pursue pre-law study so she can go to law school.  Her goal is to become a defense attorney so she can defend those who can’t defend themselves. Every year, thousands of children benefit from after-school youth development programs, extended services and community support programs through the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix’ 12 clubhouses, dental clinic and outreach programs. For more information, visit bgcmp.org.

Erin Saltzman

Tomorrow: Nominee Kallie LaForest.