Each year, our Club selects its Youth of the Year. If anyone doubts the impact we have on young lives, they would just have to read a portion of a recent letter from our first honoree, Oswaldo:
If there is anything Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley has taught me, it has been the importance of giving back. When I joined the Club at Canoga Park High School (CPHS), the Club became an outlet for me to find opportunities to give back to my community in several ways...
In 2010, the Club awarded me its first Youth of the Year Award. Along with the recognition, they provided financial support during my four years at Bucknell University. At Bucknell, I came to feel that I needed to dedicate my career to giving back. So now I am currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Environmental Engineering at the University of South Florida, and I am also a Peace Corps Volunteer within the Peace Corps Master's International Program.
I came to Panama in June 2015 and started my two-year service in an indigenous site in the Bocas Del Toro region. In the Peace Corps, I have developed practical skills in sustainability and have learned how to sustainably give back to the communities we serve. Our main line of work deals with empowering communities to address their problems and work towards sustainable solutions. I am currently an Environmental Health Volunteer, working with community members to improve their water and sanitation systems and their overall health.
While some of the work is technical, most of my work deals with the soft skills of public speaking and effective communication, capacitating community members and motivating them to seek solutions, and being friendly to establish great working relationships and make a lasting impact. All of these skills I've learned during my time at CPHS and while pursuing my degrees and the Club provided me with the motivation to continue giving back. The Club has honestly been there every step of the way and for that I can never finish thanking them.
- Oswaldo Galicia
2010 Youth of the Year
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