The Boys & Girls Club of Allentown is proud to introduce our 2017 Youth of the Year: Christian.
Christian distinctly remembers the day he became a member of the Boys & Girls Club of Allentown (BGCA) and how the Club has impacted his life ever since. “I remember it like it was yesterday. I was 12 years old at the time. I was greeted by the Teen Center Unit Director, Cristina, and she gave me my BGCA membership card. Growing up in Allentown was never easy. In my neighborhood I have witnessed fights, violence, and crime. I knew I needed a safe haven where I can focus on my school work and stay positive. My safe haven is my Boys & Girls Club of Allentown.”
At the Boys & Girls Club of Allentown Teen Center, Christian can often be found working on his homework, participating in the Junior Achievement Program, and volunteering in the community through the Keystone Club. He loves helping younger BGCA kids with their homework and being a mentor to them. “The Boys & Girls Club of Allentown has helped mold me into the young, mature man I am today. They have made me feel confident and build up my self-esteem. I have learned to take this experience and present it to other BGCA youth.”
Throughout his life, Christian has always found a way to remain positive and rise above any obstacle he faces. He is determined to be the best person he can be and wants to inspire and motivate his peers to do the same. At the start of his 8th grade year, Christian decided that he wanted to play basketball. He had never played organized basketball for a team before and spent most of the season on the bench. While not playing much in games throughout the season would be discouraging for many, Christian was determined to get better. “That year I was put on the bench. But, I wasn’t mad. People made fun of me, but they did not know what my goals were. Being on the team put me in a position to learn. Outside of games I trained hard and began working-out.” Christian continued to train and practice on his own after the season. His dedication and hard work paid off as he made the freshman basketball team this year. “I pour my heart into everything I do. I wake up at 4am prior to school most days and weekends to work on my craft. I am determined to be an amazing athlete.”
Along with being an amazing athlete, Christian is even more determined to be a great student. He has excelled academically during his first semester as a freshman at the Executive Education Academy Charter School. He is a straight-A student, has a 3.8 GPA, and is involved in several extra-curricular activities. His teachers enjoy having him in their classes and speak very highly of his work-ethic and positive attitude. Christian plans to attend the University of North Carolina and one day become a lawyer.