Amber Batchelor, 17-year-old Keppel High senior, was named as the Youth of the Year for Boys & Girls Club of West San Gabriel Valley.
She was awarded a $2,500 scholarship and will go on to compete with similar winners from 25 Boys and Girls Clubs in Los Angeles, and potentially for state and national honors.
Other club finalists honored with$1,000 scholarships were Katy Garibay, Taryn ”Aja” Gerardo, Paul Tsai, Richard Valencia, Michael Ramos, and Austin Locurto.
The Boys & Girls Club of America’s Youth of the year recognition is the highest honors club member can achieve.
“The youth of the year program honors youth who have overcome enormous odds and demonstrated exceptional character and accomplishments,” according to the event program.
The youngsters are also recognized for service to their club and their community, academic performance and contributions to their family.
This year’s winner, Amber Batchelor, was raised by a single father and has been a member of the club since the age of 6. Amber has had the opportunity to travel to Africa with several clubs. She is currently editor-in-chief of the Mark Keppel High newspaper. She plans to attend University of California, Irvine and major in Journalism.
Chair of the Youth of the Year program was Mark Wong, a business banker with Bank of the West. Committee Members were JR Dzubak, Samantha Bailey, Lindsay Ehlers, Jackie Lilavois, Jesse Amezquita, Yesenia Diaz, Frank Reyes and Aida Diaz.
Youth of the Year sponsors included Dr. Hy Ngo, Footlocker, Gary E. Milgard Foundation, Hot Topic Foundation, Notes for Notes, Orbit Printing, Pacific Youth Foundation, Samsung, Sterling Foundation and Walt Disney.