Santa Fe County Commission Chair Henry Roybal congratulates Pojoaque Valley High School student Andres Tiede, winner of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Fe/Del Norte Youth of the Year competition Saturday evening at Buffalo Thunder Resort. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
First Judicial District Chief Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Padgett Macias, left, and Special Victims Division Chief Mary Carmack-Altwies listen to speeches Saturday evening by the three finalists for Youth of the Year. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
Buddy and Irene Roybal, far right, were presented with the Jack Stamm Award Saturday evening during the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Fe/Del Norte gala at Buffalo Thunder. Also pictured are, from left, Roman Abeyta, Frank Gallegos and Jack Stamm’s sister. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
Receiving recognition awards Saturday from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Fe/Del Norte are, from left, Rio Arriba County Commissioner James J. Martinez, Rio Arriba County Commissioner Danny J. Garcia and Santa Fe County Commissioner Henry Roybal. Also pictured are Roman Abeyta, chief professional officer, second from right, and Frank Gallegos, board of directors vice president. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
Youth of the Year competitors who spoke Saturday evening at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Fe/Del Norte gala are, from left, Mya Sandoval, Alyssa Montoya and Andres Tiede. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
Chatting during Saturday’s Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Fe/Del Norte Youth of the Year reception at Buffalo Thunder Resort are, from right, Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber, Santa Fe County Commission Chair Henry Roybal, Santa Fe City Councilor Chris Rivera, Santa Fe City Councilor Roman Abeyta, BGC Santa Fe/Del Norte chief program officer and Rio Arriba County Commissioner James J. Martinez. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber, the keynote speaker at Saturday’s Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Fe/Del Norte Youth of the Year celebration, noted how impressed he was with competitors Alyssa Montoya, Andres Tiede and Mya Sandoval and how honored he felt to have been one of the judges for Youth of the Year.
Andres Tiede, a Pojoaque High School student, won the Youth of the Year award.
“I can tell you they are young people with courage, strength and conviction and great clarity about who they are, where they come from and where they’re going to,” Webber said. “They weren’t competing against each other. They were competing for themselves to grow their own capabilities, to spread their wings and fly a little further, a chance to test themselves and a chance to give something back to the communities and say thank you to the Boys & Girls Club.”
Webber addressed how important it is for young people to have an older person who takes an interest in their life and how that can be the determining factor between who makes it and who doesn’t.
“This is true in Northern New Mexico as we think about the Boys & Girls Clubs. Who makes it in Northern New Mexico? Who falls between the cracks? Who doesn’t get the chance to live up to their potential and who does? Who sometimes gets left out? Who gets brought along? The truth is that when we look at our own lives, the lives of the young people in Northern New Mexico, nobody does it on their own. Everybody has had the benefit of family or friends or teachers or coaches or mentors or peers who brought them along,” he said, adding the names of some people he said “brought him along”.
Webber also spoke of bosses that he said saw something in him that he couldn’t see in himself, who told him he could do better than he thought he could do.
“They gave me confidence. They gave me a boost. They gave me courage. They gave me the gift of believing in me. And that’s the gift the Boys & Girls Clubs give. If we tell the truth, it’s the gift of love. The most powerful gift of all,” he said.
Youth of the Year is the premier recognition program for Boys & Girls Club members, promoting service to Club, community and family, academic success, strong moral character, life goals, and poise and public speaking ability. The program is used as as a year-round tool for fostering young people’s character, personal growth and leadership qualities.