YOUTH OF THE YEAR
Donna & Eric Colson
Kristy & Jimmy Cowan
Louisa & Tom Shields
Our annual Youth of the Year Event honors and celebrates our teen members who give back to the Club community, and excel in their personal, academic, and professional endeavors. By giving a spotlight to these incredible teens, as well as the broader Club community and donor network, we celebrate MPBGC's progress in developing bright futures for our youth. This is an event for the whole family to enjoy!
For more information, e-mail Erika Dugay at email@example.com.
Casa Miranda Fund
Sponsorship Opportunities are available! Please click here.
Meet our Youth of the Year Participants
Dayanara (12th Grade)
College Interest: Pennsylvania State University, Louisiana State University, University of South Florida
Career Interest: Psychology/Behavioral Therapist
Dayanara is a senior at ICA Cristo Rey High School in San Francisco. Born & raised in the Bayshore community, Dayanara has been a member of the Club for 11 years and taken on leadership roles in Torch Club & Keystone! Dayanara is passionate about the challenges youth in the community face, both academically and in their social-emotional wellness.
"On behalf of the 4 million teens in US High schools. To say we are struggling is an understatement. Far too many of my peers and I, are ignored and are characterized as apathetic"… "This stigma that we don't care about anything because we are [perceived as] loud trouble makers. BUT REALLY, WE CARE TOO MUCH." -Dayanara
When she's not on the soccer field or sipping a vegan hot coco, Dayanara volunteers over the summer supporting our Club members with their schoolwork and activities. After high school, Dayanara plans to pursue a degree in psychology to explore early childhood development and develop a means of social emotional learning for youth.
Akeyla (10th Grade)
College Interest: Stanford University
Career Interest: Graphic Design & Forensic Psychology
Akeyla is a sophomore at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory High School and she has a been a member of the Club for 6 years. Akeyla's experience balancing her cultural and racial identity with social justice in her day-to-day life is made apparent in her writing, in her experience attending a predominantly-white private institution, and in her participation in the Club's programs.
“Going to a private school all my life, where there weren’t many people of color, my classmates painted black people as the criminal, the thug, the entertainer or the athlete. These stereotypes were used in the slavery and Jim Crow times as propaganda to remind Americans that Black people were inferior, and it worked. And it’s still working. When I went to high school, I soon realized the difference in what was “normal” to that of people I was going to school with”....“As someone who cares deeply about eradicating racism, I am committed to addressing this issue by becoming a designer so that I can help all people feel comfortable enough to share their stories and shed light on the day-to-day experiences POC share.”
As a result, Akeyla is a strong advocate for her community. Akeyla plans to pursue a career in design as well as find her voice and figure out what kind of impact she wants to have on the community.
Jack (11th Grade)
College Interest: TBD
Career Interest: Clinical Psychology
Jack is a junior at Mills High School and has been member of the Club for over 6 years. He has supported the Club's staff throughout the school year and over the summer as a Leader in Training (LIT). Jack is known to look after his little brother, Jaden, and picks him up from school and helps him with his homework. Jack is also known for being our go-to teen for any and all athletic activities.
In high school, Jack has been balancing his school work and sports. He runs track and field and also attends tutoring sessions over the weekends. Jack also grew an interest in photography and digital media. He participated in an Asian American History Photovoice summer program though OCA-SF Chapter, taking a deeper look into Asian American representation and advocacy in the US. This led him to take a videography class at school to explore his creative interests in this field.
Jack continues his community service at the Club as a 2020 Census Ambassador. He trained with us in the summer of 2019 to reach hard-to-count communities for the 2020 Census. Upon graduation, Jack plans to pursue a degree in clinical psychology.
Taylor (11th Grade)
College Interest: Berklee College of Music, NYU, Marymount Manhattan, UCLA, Pace University
Career Interest: Performing Arts: Theatre/Singing
Taylor is a junior at Mills High School and has been a Club member for 6 years. Taylor was an active member of Torch Club, and has always supported us in the kitchen for our cooking program as well as at the Front Desk. We can always rely on Taylor to look after the younger members with her problem-solving mindset.
Throughout high school, Taylor came back every year to support Torch Club for their Annual Haunted Cabin Fundraiser at the Millbrae Community Youth Center Clubhouse.
Taylor is a natural performer, acting in school plays and participating in performance programs outside of school. She enjoys singing and acting and plans to pursue a career in the performing arts.
Meet our Junior Youth of the Year Participants
Mayel (9th Grade)
College Interest: TBD
Career Interest: Business & Criminology
Mayel is a freshman at Mills High School and has been a Club member for 4 years. From day one, Mayel took on a leadership role at the Club. Mayel was our MCYC Spokesperson; she gave tours and participated in all of the Torch Club Community Service projects. She cares deeply about the community and wants to give back. She is a big helper at the Club and, over the years, has grown to identify right from wrong (despite popular opinion), and give space for other people to participate and engage in Club programs.
Mayel is an emerging leader and her energy creates a welcoming energy at the Club. She plans to study criminology/psychology or pursue a career in business. Through studying criminology/psychology, Mayel wants to better understand what causes people to behave the way they do when they do harm to others. By understanding these issues, she hopes to prevent harm in our society. In her free time, Mayel makes her own jewelry through which she is exploring the possibility of becoming a Latinx entrepreneur.
Alex (8th Grade)
College Interest: University of Colorado, Oregon State University, UC Davis
Career Interest: Park Ranger
Alex is an 8th grader at Bayside Academy and has been a life-long member of the Club for 8 years. Alex is an active member of Torch Club, supporting the staff and their friends every step of the way. Alex is a strong advocate for LGBTQIA+ at the Bayside Academy Pride Club & San Mateo Pride Center. Alex has always been a standout member with a strong voice and perspective of the world. They are very self-aware and is seeking a space that accepts their differences and who they are verses feeling the need to fit a mainstream mold.
“I am strong academically as well as very creative, with a passion for art and music. I also love spending time outdoors, especially boogie boarding, skateboarding, and bike riding. As a member of the LGBTQ community, I am a strong advocate for my community and would like to be a role model for other LGBTQ youth. I also enjoy a host of other community activism activities. My years at the Boys & Girls Club have helped me grow and nurture all of these passions.”
When Alex isn’t at the Club you can find them exploring nature and being outdoors. Alex plans to pursue a career as a park ranger.
Daniel (8th Grade)
College Interest: TBD
Career Interest: Physician/Medical Field
Daniel is an 8th grader at Bayside Academy and has been a lifelong member of the Club for 8 years. Daniel is an active member of Torch Club where you can find him running the Club concession stand or supporting staff members throughout the day. In his free time you can find Daniel playing the ukulele, the guitar, the trombone, or picking up a new instrument to learn. Daniel looks after his younger sister and invites her to join him during teen events. His kindness is felt though his sincerity and consideration for others.
Daniel wants to pursue a career in the medical field, specifically epidemiology and research with the goal of finding cures for different diseases. While Daniel is still exploring the medical industry and the different career paths it offers, he is currently settled on becoming a physician.