Feb. 26, 2013
-- Singled out among several outstanding local youth, Paloma Guzman was recently named 2013 Youth of the Year by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme.
The Youth of the Year competition recognizes outstanding contributions to a member’s family, school, community and Boys & Girls Club local organization, as well as overcoming personal challenges and obstacles. Youth of the Year encourages Club members to reach their full potential by achieving academic success, leading healthy lifestyles and contributing to their communities. Youth of the Year honorees are shining examples and living proof that great futures start at Boys & Girls Clubs.
“Paloma has such strong drive and ambition. She is a creative and intelligent young woman who represents our Club with great pride and enthusiasm,”
said Tim Blaylock, chief professional officer, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme. “We are proud to honor her as our Youth of the Year.”
A senior at Oxnard High School, 17-year-old Guzman has been a Club member for five years. Before moving to Oxnard, she had lived in six states with her mother and sister. Her mother encouraged her to join the Club, but she was nervous about starting over in a new place. It took a while, but Guzman slowly got more involved in the Martin V. Smith Center Clubhouse, especially with the Club’s Keystone group, a leadership group that focuses on academic success, career preparation and community service, allowing older members to serve as peer leaders to younger members. She has been president of the Keystone group for the past two years and has served more than 200 hours of community service.
Guzman has also been involved in the Club’s Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship program, where she won first place in the Dec. 13 NFTE Business Competition with her Blissful Cake Pops business plan. The Youth NFTE program is an after-school program at BGCOP that provides business and entrepreneurship classes to students who are interested in launching a business. The program is comprised of 12 high school seniors who attend Channel Islands, Pacifica, Oxnard, Hueneme or Frontier high school.
Guzman plans to attend college in the fall to study linguistics with an emphasis on American Sign Language and a minor in business.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme exists to inspire and enable all young people to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. With three full-service clubs, 18 school program sites and one housing site, the organization is one of the largest of its kind in California, serving 9,000 members annually. The group is also the first Boys & Girls Club of its kind to open a site inside a Juvenile Justice Center in the state of California. Program areas offered to youth include character and leadership development, education and career development, health and life skills, the arts, technology and sports, fitness and recreation. For more information, visit www.positiveplace4kids.org.