The Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica (SMBGC) named David Ramirez as its 2011 Youth of the Year recipient before more than 350 guests at its 44th Annual Youth of the Year Awards Celebration & Banquet on Saturday.
The 17 year-old Club member was selected from among four extraordinary local youth in recognition of his outstanding contributions of service to the Club and his community, and his exceptional leadership among his peers. As Youth of the Year, David will serve as the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica’s youth spokesperson in the community.
“The annual YOY banquet is truly a very special occasion for us to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of each of our nominees, their commitment to serve the community and their ability to overcome difficult circumstances,” said Aaron Young, President and CEO of SMBGC. “We congratulate David Ramirez – and his fellow nominees – on their achievements. David is a shining example of a young person who has made outstanding contributions to the Club and his community and has overcome many obstacles to become the leader he is today. He is a living proof that great futures start here, at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica.”
As Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s premier youth recognition program, the Youth of the Year program honors deserving Club members for their academic and/or personal achievements, leadership skills and outstanding contributions to their community as well as overcoming personal challenges and obstacles. David will compete in March for the title of YOY for L.A. County – and potentially beyond – and will be eligible to receive scholarships along the way.
David Ramirez is motivated by the need to pave a smoother path for his younger sister and make his hard-working parents proud. David overcame a number of challenges – including obesity, low self-esteem and a lack of academic focus to name a few – in large part because of his self-awareness and burning need to succeed. He is actively involved in both the Pacific and Main Branches at SMBGC, participating in programs including CollegeBound, Keystone and Leaders in Training. A 17 year-old senior at Santa Monica High School, David aspires to attend USC and one day become CEO of a Boys & Girls Club.
Fox Sports Radio Host and Club supporter Deb Carson hosted the celebratory event. Guest speaker Mary Firestone offered words of encouragement and inspiration. Sponsors including the Kiwanis Club of Santa Monica, the Pacific Youth Foundation, White & Company Insurance Inc., Frank & Gwen
Schwengel, and Loren Bloch & Ping Ho provided scholarships for many of the youth recognized at the banquet.
If David Ramirez wins at the County competition, he will receive a scholarship and can move on to State, regional and national Youth of the Year competitions. Five regional winners will advance to Washington, D.C., to compete for the title of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National YOY. The national winner will receive an additional scholarship of up to $50,000 and will meet the President of the United States in an Oval Office ceremony.