Special to the Patriot-Bridge
Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston (BGCB), the city’s leading youth-serving organization, hosted the 1st Annual Club Night this past Tuesday at 521 Overlook in Fenway Park. The first-of-its-kind event served as an opportunity for attendees to celebrate, honor, and witness the best of Boston and Chelsea’s talented youth.
“Tonight is [about] the best of Boston. It is bringing together our young talent to showcase them, to expose them to you. [It is] for you to see and feel and experience what goes on in our club” said Nicholas President and CEO Robert Lewis Jr. “[A night of] celebration, music, family, entertainment, that’s what our city needs during a time where others are wondering what young people our doing, young people our succeeding and that’s what [BGCB] is about: youth success”.
In conjunction with its 130th anniversary, six BGCB teens and graduating seniors were honored with the most prestigious recognition bestowed upon a Club member, the Youth of the Year award. Teens were honored for their superior leadership skills, academic achievement, ability to overcome obstacles, and service to their Club and community.
“We are unstoppable, not because we do not have failures or doubts but because we continue on despite them,” said Josh Kraft Mattapan Teen Center Youth of the Year Leslie Aponte. “We all deserve a little reminder that we are more than the limits that we set for ourselves”.
Members and guests celebrated the night away with ballpark snacks, watching musical performances and dance choreographies overlooking Fenway Park. From Taylor Swift medleys to Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”, youth of all ages showcased their talents, upholding BGCB’s mission to elevate young people and help them realize their full potential.
“[BGCB] has just always been a second family to me and always had my back no matter what. They have taught me to lead with passion and know that I have an amazing support system [at the clubs]”, said Charlestown Club Youth of the Year Ariana Alarcon Flynn.