Anthony Sánchez came to the United States without speaking English, which made him feel like a strange person. Adjusting to his new place of residence, the young man points out, was quite uncomfortable.

However, this feeling of not belonging was nothing more than a nudge that led to him becoming Youth of the Year for his academic commitment and leadership qualities.

This title was awarded to him by the Boys and Girls Club of Malibu (BGCM), an organization that offers programs and activities to young people to help them complete their studies.

Genesis Lizama wanted to study at the prestigious university, but due to the high costs, she found it difficult. Until he received help from the Soar program.

“I feel happy and proud, because I was able to meet one of my great challenges, which is to speak in public. I have always been shy, ”explains Sánchez.

This young Nicaraguan came to the United States four years ago. It’s a journey he took alongside his mother

“When I came to this school, I didn’t know English,” says Sánchez. “They gave me a course where they help me improve my English.”

The organization also provided Sánchez with $1,000 to continue his education. The youngster is now up for the Los Angeles County Youth of the Year award.

“He succeeded because of his effort, his hard work and because he is a very nice guy and an example for the Latino community,” said Siugen Constanza, Director of Community Affairs at BGCM.

His mother is very happy with his success.

Hollywood High School has received recognition from the Association of Magnet Schools of America for merit in academic excellence, innovation, and commitment to education.

“I’m very proud of Anthony because the simple fact of appearing in front of a jury, for me, was already a winner”, says his mother, Zeneida Rodríguez.

According to the Boys and Girls Club organization, 97% of young people who attend their classes are likely to graduate from high school. This is the case of Sánchez, who is already thinking about taking the next step.

“(I want) to go to community college and pursue a career in programming or software engineering,” the young man said.

The MACES school has been recognized for its artistic program that it offers to its students.

Organizations like Boys and Girls help these young people face their fears so they can prove to themselves that there are no barriers to progress. In addition, it offers them the possibility of receiving the Youth of the Year nomination.

For more information on Boys and Girls Club programs in Malibu, Click here.

To find a Boys and Girls of America organization near you, Click here.

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