Boys & Girls Club tabs Memorial student as Youth of the Year

Carlos Lepe to vie for state title and scholarship

Press release from Boys & Girls Club of McAllen

Selected among six outstanding youth, Carlos Lepe of McAllen Memorial High has been named the Youth of the Year by Boys & Girls Club of McAllen (BGCM).

The Youth of the Year title is a prestigious honor bestowed upon an exemplary young person in recognition of leadership, service, academic excellence, and dedication to live a healthy lifestyle. Now in its 74th year, the Youth of the Year program honors our nation’s most awe-inspiring young people on their path to great futures. Carlos will go on to contend for the Texas Youth of the Year title and a $2,500 college scholarship from Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

 “Our Youth of the Year scholarship program awards our brightest and most resilient high school club members and affords them an opportunity to attend an institution of higher learning," Dalinda Gonzalez Alcantar, CEO, Boys & Girls Club of McAllen, said. "Carlos Lepe is an outstanding example of an overcomer, and it’s our privilege to be part of his story.”  

Carlos Lepe’s BGCM story started four years ago when he became a club member. He quickly got involved with the different programs that BGCM offers to all its club members. Through the Health and Wellness Programs, Carlos has developed his capacity to engage in positive behaviors to nurture his wellbeing, set personal goals, and grow into a self-sufficient adult.

Carlos has been involved with BGCM’s Workforce Readiness programs, where he has learned leadership skills and strengthen his problem-solving skills. This program has offered Carlos mentors and opportunities to explore careers and prepare himself with employability skills for future success. At his young age, Carlos is already employed by Saltgrass Steakhouse and still finds time to succeed academically and give back to his community.

Carlos’ favorite activity at BGCM is getting involved in community service through the Youth Advocacy Council, known as the YAC program. YAC is a youth development program that empowers Rio Grande Valley area teens to become leaders of change in their community through civic participation at local and state levels. Carlos has donated his time to the Feast of Sharing event, a celebration and distribution of meals to families in the McAllen area to aid in hunger relief. He has also volunteered at the McAllen Marathon Scott Crane Memorial Run and has represented RGV teens at multiple advocacy meetings.  

 “I love working and participating in community service to help any person in need," Lepe said. "As a group of teens, we are working together to make this world a better place. Little by little, we start making our community a better place which in turn leads to a great environment for families, and therefore the world is a better place.” 

Besides the honor of representing the Boys & Girls Club of McAllen on the state level, Carlos has already received a $4,500 scholarship from BGCM that will go towards his college education. Carlos is planning to attend the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley to start on his basics and dedicate himself to becoming a chiropractor. 

 If Carlos is named the Texas Youth of the Year, he will contend for the title of Southwest Regional Youth of the Year, who will receive an additional $20,000 college scholarship. Six finalists will advance to the virtual National Youth of the Year event in October 2021 to vie for the title of Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Youth of the Year. The National Youth of the Year will receive an additional scholarship of $50,000 and a brand-new Toyota Corolla. 

The Youth of the Year program is supported by Toyota and Mondelēz. As the Signature Sponsor of Youth of the Year, Toyota is committed to partnering with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to ensure local Clubs provide life-enhancing opportunities for kids and teens to explore, develop and apply the essential skills they need to be successful in life and work. As the Lead Sponsor of Youth of the Year, Mondelēz International, will engage with local Clubs year-round to help foster a new generation of leaders prepared to live in and lead a diverse global economy. Youth of the Year representatives are the workforce leaders, innovators, and problem-solvers of tomorrow.  

For more information about the Youth of the Year program, visit www.youthoftheyear.org.

To get involved or find ways to sponsor a Youth of the Year, please contact Yirla Gonzalez Nolan at 956-682-5791 or ygonzalez@bgcmcallen.net.

About Boys & Girls Club of McAllen: The Boys & Girls Club of McAllen is dedicated to helping our community by mentoring youth to become productive and caring citizens. Boys & Girls Club of McAllen provides nationally recognized programs in a safe and positive environment through the support of caring and dedicated youth development professionals.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America: For 160 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, more than 4,700 Clubs serve over 4.6 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing, Native lands throughout the country and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide.

They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Club programs promote academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 54 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more about Boys & Girls Clubs of America on Facebook and Twitter.