Good evening ladies and gentlemen, My name is Joshua, a senior at Seaside High School and I am the Seaside Clubhouse 2017 Youth of the Year. I live with my father, older sister, and older brother. I was born in Merced, California, and moved to Seaside when I was five-years-old. First and foremost, I am honored to be here in front of you all to tell you about my club experience. I have been an active club member since 2006, making this my 11th year this year as a member. Being a member at the Boys & Girls Club has provided more than what I could have asked for. In February of this year, I was awarded the Davis Love III scholarship, which has allowed me to purchase my first laptop. Since then, I have been able to improve my skills in filmmaking and build a clientele base of people who want me to make music videos or short films for them. The Club also prepared me by providing summer internships at the Seaside Clubhouse that gave me real job experience and helped me improve my interview skills. Participating in programs like Career Launch, a job readiness program; and Keystone, a service based leadership program, gave me real life experiences that will prepare me for life after high school. Working for the club during the summers gave me essential job skills that made me a better employee for my weekend job at Blaze Pizza.
From the start, I was a very timid member at the Boys & Girls Club. As I got to know the wonderful staff, I became more confident in speaking to other members and staff. In addition, I have gained confidence from dance and film making. The Club motivated me to express myself by allowing me to dance at Club events and in creating films. As I begin to embark on a new phase in my life, I reflect on the lessons the club taught me and one of the most important lessons is the importance of pursuing a higher education. The Boys & Girls Club demonstrates that great futures start here and it begins with me. In my family, college is a huge expectation, as my three older siblings attended college and the Club helped each of them get there. After I graduate from high school, I will attend San Jose State University. I would like to major in Film and Media. By providing me with this opportunity you are getting me one step closer to achieving my goal of becoming a Director of Photography.
The club supported me in my future academic goals by setting a high bar. Staff like Joe Garcia and Chantel Davis supplied me the whole way through. Mentors, like Nanci Perocchi, have been a role model by making sure I do not fall behind on my classes, assignments, or volunteer service. Most importantly, the Club provides me with people that I can look up to and aspire to be like one day.
I would like to thank my family for always being there when I need them, especially my older sister, Erika; she motivates me and believes that I can actually be something. Lastly, I would like to thank the Seaside Boys & Girls Club staff for helping me reach my full potential. Thank you for your time and have a great evening.