On Saturday, April 1, 2017, more than 170 people gathered at the Warner Center Marriott to honor our 2017 Youth of the Year, Baljot Chahal, as well as eight children selected for outstanding achievements who each represent a Club site. The event truly exemplified the essence of our organization and demonstrated the impact the Club has on our youth.
A beautiful musical performance by Youth of the Year honoree Caitlyn Torres, followed by a video highlighting each Youth of the Year member, set the tone for the afternoon.
The three finalists gave moving speeches detailing the challenges they faced and how they overcame them. Jose Anguiano from Canoga Park High School found his philanthropic voice and peace at the Club. Evelyn Romero from Chatsworth High School discovered through the Club that her dreams are not as farfetched as she was raised to believe. Jonathan Aldana, a special education student from Canoga Park High School, wants all students with special needs to know that it is possible for everyone to achieve academic success.
The highlight of the day was the Club’s Youth of the Year Baljot Chahal, and her story of growth from a shy, submissive young girl raised in a severely patriarchal family tradition into a strong, confident individual. Baljot was presented with a $1,000 scholarship from Farmers Insurance, which is the corporate sponsor of the Youth of the Year program, and $1,000 scholarship from the Boys & Girls Club. She will also receive a laptop and a trip to China through the BGCA LA Alliance and the generous supporters of the Los Angeles Youth of the Year program. She will be attending UCSB in the fall to pursue a career in medicine.
The three finalists received $250 scholarships from the Boys & Girls Club and each Youth of the Year honoree received a backpack filled with goodies and gift cards.