Boys and Girls Club recognizes local teen
Hermilo “Milo” Lopez, a 6-year member of Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland has been named the Youth of the Year for the state of Oregon by Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA).
In addition to winning this prestigious title, Lopez will also receive a $1,000 scholarship from the Reader’s Digest Foundation. He is among hundreds of Youth of the Year winners across the country recognized by Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) for his sound character, leadership skills and willingness to give back to the community.
Being named Youth of the Year is the highest honor a Boys & Girls Club member can receive. The title recognizes outstanding contributions to a member’s family, school, community and Boys & Girls Club, as well as personal challenges and obstacles overcome.
This program was founded over 60 years ago through the generosity of the Reader’s Digest Foundation.
After moving from Oaxaca, Mexico to Oregon at the age of seven, Lopez battled serious depression, watched his mother get deported, and learned to live with an ill father who was rarely home from working his two jobs.
Finding the Boys & Girls Club, however, helped Lopez adjust to his new life in the United States. Lopez said, “Before the Boys & Girls Club it seemed that wherever I went, I was hopeless, exhausted and unloving. However, the staff at the Club was always there to support me with positive attitudes and smiles. This is what I crave and love about my Club.”
Lopez is an active member of the Inukai Family Boys & Girls Club in Hillsboro, where he has volunteered hundreds of hours over the past few years. He also has been involved with Torch Club, SMART Moves, and has served as the President of the Keystone Club.
“As I explored all the Club had to offer, I transformed into a leader and mentor to those around me,” said Lopez.
This summer, Lopez will compete against other youth from states located in BGCA’s Pacific Region. If named regional winner, he will be awarded a $10,000 college scholarship and advance to the national competition in Washington DC.
The National Youth of the Year receives an additional $15,000 college scholarship and will be installed by the President of the United States during a ceremony in the Oval Office.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metropolitan Area, which serves more than 25,000 young people each year, is a youth guidance and development agency that has provided a safe and positive place for kids to go after school since 1946. For just $5 per year, children ages 6-18 can attend the Boys & Girls Clubs, which offer programs in five core areas: the arts; sports, fitness and recreation; health and life skills; education and career development; and character and leadership development.
For more information about the Boys and Girls Club, visit www.bgcportland.org.