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Wendy AdameWendy Adame, a senior at East and member of the Ray Aguilera Teen Clubhouse based at Central, was honored as Youth of the Year by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Pueblo County.
The award was presented at the 2023 Champions of Youth Dinner Thursday at the Pueblo Convention Center.
As Youth of the Year, Wendy is awarded a full ride scholarship to Colorado State University Pueblo.
In her address before the hundreds gathered for the gala, Wendy – with more than a decade of Club membership – praised the support she found through the Boys and Girls Clubs for lifting her out of a depressive state.
“I was always told what I should be in the future,” Wendy said. “A doctor, president, astronaut. But I realized that those weren’t my dreams. I was in a cycle where I was pleasing others and as a result, my mental health deteriorated significantly. I was losing sight of who I was.”
The hopelessness and dark storm clouds began to overtake her life, until she found purpose and meaning in the Boys and Girls Clubs.
“Do you remember the days when the sky cleared and the sun shined? I certainly do and today, I will bring you through my journey. Even when I thought the clouds would never clear, the sun came and shined a light so bright it not only cleared the rain in my home, but in my mind,” she said.
“My warmth was the Boys and Girls Club, where I could be out of the environment where I couldn’t think clearly.
Programs like Draw the Line, Respect the Line, Money Matters, and Career Readiness gave me the option to see clearly what I wanted: instead of what others wanted for me.”
For six years, Jessikah Campbell served as Wendy’s mentor.
“She helped give me the opportunity to take a breath and relax: a vacation,” Wendy said. “Although I was constantly changing what I wanted to do with my life, she always gave me the opportunity to dream what I wanted to do because the world is too small to dream the dreams of others.
“I never knew that just by talking to someone, it would lead you to a path where the sun would shine a little brighter each and every day: as long as you are willing take the covers off.”
Wendy now wants to be that light for others.
“My goal is to travel the world while working for international business. I want to help connect trading routes to low-income communities to help their overall well being. I want to show others that despite being stuck in the dark, the sun will shine for a better future.”
In all, nearly 80 Club kids were honored for achievements in Academic Success, Healthy Lifestyles, and Good Character and Leadership.
Receiving the Grand Champion of Youth award was the Board of Pueblo County Commissioners.
Pueblo Urban Renewal Authority served as the gala's Presenting Sponsor, with the Garone Nicksich Foundation (Signature Sponsor) and Black Hills Energy and CSU Pueblo (Platinum Sponsors) also top-tier benefactors.
Kid of the Year: Kyri Elizalde
Kid of the Year: Alondra Lopez
Kid of the Year: Aaron Secora
Academic Success: Omar Juarez
Academic Success: Winter Guidry
Good Character and Leadership: Norah Huang
Good Character and Leadership: Vincent Rodriguez
Healthy Lifestyles: Brianna Gomez
Healthy Lifestyles: Carlos Alarcon
Kid of the Year: Sophia Boydstun
Kid of the Year: Zoey Calderon
Kid of the Year: Josue Alardin
Academic Success: Sofia Alardin
Academic Success: Landen Boydstun
Good Character and Leadership: Makynli Andrade
Good Character and Leadership: Austin Mairot
Healthy Lifestyles: Dylan Arreola
Healthy Lifestyles: Christopher Pineda
Kid of the Year: Avery Allendorf
Kid of the Year: Lukas Gonzales
Kid of the Year: Isaac Armijo
Academic Success: Nicole Balderas-Perez
Academic Success: Lukas Lucero
Good Character and Leadership: Charleigh Morris
Good Character and Leadership: Jayson Ruybal
Healthy Lifestyles: Juan Moya
Healthy Lifestyles: Chase Pineda
Academic Success: Khylieandra Montoya
Academic Success: Jack Montoya
Good Character and Leadership: Raheem Dillard
Good Character and Leadership: Elaine Tennant
Healthy Lifestyles: Sylvia Tennant
Healthy Lifestyles: Audie Baros
Junior Youth of the Year: Zalyiz Martinez
Junior Youth of the Year: Esme Godsey
Kid of the Year: Daisy Arreola
Kid of the Year: Zayviana Martinez
Kid of the Year: Steven Passig
Academic Success: Aryan Magallanes
Academic Success: Efren Loya
Good Character and Leadership: Camden Gallup
Good Character and Leadership: Nevaeh Kalanquin
Healthy Lifestyles: Geovanny Arreola
Healthy Lifestyles: Fernanda Garcia
Junior Youth of the Year: Matthew Murillo
Junior Youth of the Year: Adbeel Murillo
Junior Youth of the Year: Fynleigh Dorsey
Kid of the Year: Keno Bollacker
Kid of the Year: Raylei Vasquez
Kid of the Year: Nala Aleman
Academic Success: Yareli Kramer
Academic Success: Dominic Johnson
Good Character and Leadership: Kayliana Heredia
Good Character and Leadership: Elijah Lopez
Healthy Lifestyles: Isaac Benavidez
Healthy Lifestyles: Piper Dorsey
Junior Youth of the Year: Alesia Gonzales
Junior Youth of the Year: Zachary Whitaker
Junior Youth of the Year: Shea Ortmann
Kid of the Year: Fernanda Ortega
Kid of the Year: Mireya Hernandez-Badillo
Kid of the Year: Valeena Velasquez
Academic Success: Ihan Guerrero
Academic Success: Jacobi Rhyme
Good Character and Leadership: Halo Wishart
Good Character and Leadership: Marisol Cherry
Healthy Lifestyles: Stacianna Allen
Healthy Lifestyles: Adan Mendoza
Kid of the Year: Zachariah Buchard
Kid of the Year: Iker Garcia
Kid of the Year: Yaretzi Perez
Academic Success: Violet Grein
Academic Success: Noam McGaugh
Good Character and Leadership: Carter Haesnitch
Good Character and Leadership: Kreena Adams
Healthy Lifestyles: Keanu Murray
Healthy Lifestyles: Justus Boyd