This year we had six stellar candidates and a panel of five judges. Each one of our youth shared their compelling story and vision for their future. Each candidate was also asked a question that allowed them to share additional perspectives and provide deeper insights into their motivations.
This year’s runner-up was last year’s winner, Ledia Soliman. The 2021 Youth of the Year is the dynamic Jorge Ontiveros, who exudes enthusiasm and passion for helping others. Jorge is involved in numerous activities to help those less fortunate and embodies the compassion and leadership qualities we all love to see in a young person. Each of the candidates received scholarships to help with higher education. We’re most grateful to the Cathcart, Kohl and Larmore families for their deep generosity.
And last but not at all least, our heartfelt thanks go to the Kiwanis Club of Santa Monica for their long-standing commitment to youth leadership and direct support of Youth of the Year. We are grateful for their partnership in this work.
At Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica, our Youth of the Year candidates exemplify the four core qualities that our programming is designed to elicit in each of our youth:
Preparedness to be successful in 21st Century Education and Career Pathways.
Social and emotional competencies such as adaptability, resilience, emotional regulation, interpersonal communication skills, conﬁdence and self-eﬃcacy.
A desire for and commitment to practicing healthy habits, such as healthy eating and regular physical activity, ﬁnancial responsibility and empowerment.
Committed to community and service leadership.