Joe Valli always knew that Grenville Baker Boys & Girls Club would be a big part of his life. As his family home shares a fence with the Club, an afternoon
of fun, playing sports, and spending time with friends was just a 30–second walk away. And so, his journey with the Club began when Joe was just six years old. Today, 12 years later, Joe has been involved in just about everything the Club has to offer. He fondly recalls learning to play ping pong in the gamesroom (something he still enjoys) and developing his love for sports on our fields and in the gyms.
As he grew older, Joe became involved in the Torch and Keystone Clubs, where he developed a passion for helping others. Through these groups, Joe and his peers spent time with veterans, played baseball with developmentally-challenged kids, helped in soup kitchens, and took part in a Habitat for the Humanity project. His commitment to community service, compassion, and his leadership skills did not go unnoticed as Joe was elected President of Keystone Club last year.
Even while Joe was deeply involved in our Club through the years, he found time to develop outside interests and skills. For instance, since he was a little boy, Joe has been a Boy Scout, and last year he became an Eagle Scout – another high honor! He also does well in school, plays JV soccer, and finds time to help others.
Joe truly embodies the qualities of a Youth of the Year. He is someone who embraces the values of the Boys & Girls Club movement through leadership skills, service to community and family, academic performance, spiritual values, life goals, and public speaking abilities.
About our other Amazing Youth
The designation of Youth of the Year is one that is highly coveted. While there can only be one Youth of the Year, without fail, each year we have a number of wonderful kids who also deserve to be recognized for their academic and athletic endeavors, dedication to community service, and commitment to upholding the values of the Boys & Girls Club movement.
This year, eight young people applied for this award. Each of them had a story to share and a journey of which we are all proud. We are pleased to acknowledge the admirable accomplishments of:
Carlos Arana, Darlin Canales, Stephanie Flores, Brian Graham, Bertha Hernandez, Emerson Ronquillo, and Edgar Vasquez.