Solana Beach Youth of the Year honored from La Colonia branch of San Dieguito Boys & Girls Clubs


Elvert Vasquez, 16, was named Youth of the Year recently by the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito. Elvert was sponsored by Voit Real Estate Services from the La Colonia branch in Eden Gardens, Solana Beach.

He received an HP laptop and backpack and a $1,000 college scholarship from The Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito Foundation.

Vasquez was honored at the organization’s largest fundraiser of the year, the third annual Youth of the Year Celebration, held July 24 at the Del Mar Racetrack (see page B14 for event photos).

Elvert Vasquez’s story, in his words:

“Before I had joined the Club, I did not receive a lot of academic help and was struggling with school. Neither of my parents received a high school or college education and neither could read or speak English. Therefore, they were unable to help me with my school work. It was a very depressing time in my life with sometimes feeling lonely and having no one there for me.

“Slowly I became more and more comfortable with the people in the program, the staff members, and more comfortable with speaking English. It was a great relief for me because I now had confidence in myself and in accomplishing my goals. Eight years later, after my first day at the La Colonia branch, I am scheduled to graduate Torrey Pines High School in 2016 and will be the first in my family to graduate high school!

“Thankfully, Boys and Girls Clubs have a program called College Nights which has taught me so much about the road to college, and I have made the decision to aim for a 4-year university.

“My community has given so much to me that I strive to give back to the community. I volunteer with the city of Solana Beach in the annual Easter Egg Hunt, Cinco de Mayo event, Casa de Amistad program, feeding the homeless in downtown San Diego, and participate in community trash pick-ups.

“The Club has a very big influence on the educational needs of students like me and offers the necessary tools and supplies to those who do not have access to them. Thanks to the Club, I have a positive vision for myself and have the tools and support to achieve all my goals.”