Oxnard Teen, Skilled Boxer Honored as BGCOP's Youth of the Year

By , in PR PR California on .

    OXNARD, CA, February 18, 2018 — Singled out among several outstanding youth, 18-year-old Valeria Virgen has been chosen as this year's Youth of the Year by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme.

A 10-year Club member, Virgen is a hard-working senior at Rio Mesa High School and hopes to major in business administration or law. She has applied to the University of Southern California, the University of California Los Angeles, Cal Poly and Berkley.

“The Boys & Girls Club has given me a platform to be a leader in my community,” said Virgen. “I am the leader of my boxing team at the Club. With this leadership role I ensure that my teammates are on task and doing well outside of the boxing gym.”

Known for her skills in the boxing ring, Virgen has a 4-1 record. She has learned that hard work and determination can be rewarding. “From a young age, the Boys & Girls Club has taught me to prioritize my responsibilities. I credit this type of structure for being the reason why I've maintained a 3.76 GPA or better throughout my high school career,” Virgen added.

At Rio Mesa, Virgen has taken AP classes and International Baccalaureate classes. She is also enrolled at Oxnard College as part of their dual enrollment program, taking two afternoon classes and maintaining a 4.0 GPA in those courses, all while balancing a part-time job and being active in the Club's boxing program.

The Youth of the Year competition recognizes outstanding contributions to a member's family, school, community and Boys & Girls Club local organization, as well as overcoming personal challenges and obstacles. Youth of the Year encourages Club members to reach their full potential by achieving academic success, leading healthy lifestyles and contributing to their communities. Youth of the Year honorees are shining examples and living proof that great futures start at Boys & Girls Clubs.

“Valeria is passionate and outgoing and uses her leadership skills to help others. We are so proud of what she has accomplished at the Club and in her personal life,” said Erin Antrim, BGCOP Chief Executive Officer. “She is a great role model for others.”

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme is a nonprofit 501 (3) youth service organization. BGCOP's mission is “to inspire and enable all youth, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential, as productive, responsible and caring citizens.” Services are provided in three freestanding clubhouses in Oxnard and Port Hueneme which include a dedicated Teen Center, 11 public school program sites, one Club site in Nyeland Acres, one site at a Squires Public Housing, and the first Boys & Girls Club in a juvenile hall in the State of California. The purpose of BGCOP is to provide social, educational and recreational programs to all youth ages 6-18 years old, with an emphasis on those in underserved areas. Annual member dues is $20.00 however, no one is turned away regardless of ability to pay. Over 10,400 youth and teens are served annually. For more information, to get involved or to donate, please visit http://www.BGCOP.org.

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Brad Bennett

Brad Bennett

Brad grew up in a small town in northern Iowa. He studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married his wife one month later. They were then blessed with two baby boys within the first four years of marriage. Having babies gave their family a desire to return to the old paths – to nourish their family with traditional, homegrown foods; rid their home of toxic chemicals and petroleum products; and give their boys a chance to know a simple, sustainable way of life. They are currently building a homestead from scratch on two little acres in central Texas. There’s a lot to be done to become somewhat self-sufficient, but they are debt-free and get to spend their days living this simple, good life together with their five young children.
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