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State Treasurer John Chiang and State and local elected officials joined business and community leaders to celebrate an afterschool program that provides services to more than 2,100 youth in San Gabriel Valley and Boyle Heights. Alumni shared how the Club changed their lives.

LOS ANGELES, May 2, 2017 – State Treasurer John Chiang welcomed more than 100 local community leaders and officials to a successful 2nd Annual Great Futures for Kids Breakfast, an event by the Boys & Girls Club of West San Gabriel Valley (the Club). The event was held at Hilton San Gabriel. Speakers included Carlos Illingworth, Director of Public Affairs for Coca Cola, who is a Club alum, and Ingrid Rodriguez, Youth of the Year for the Club. The keynote speaker was five-time Olympian (swimming) John Naber. Another alum, Rich Cho, General Manager for the Charlotte Hornets, shared a video message. Rich is the first Asian American general manager for U.S. professional sports team.

Rich shared that when he was growing up in Monterey Park, his family was on food stamps and welfare. “If I can do it, anyone can do it. I’m inspired by what the Club offers kids and it’s clear that great futures start here at the Boys & Girls Club. Every day the Club is changing lives. The kid at the Club might be the next NBA GM, an Olympian like John Naber, or a teacher who will educate the next generation.”

Carlos shared how the Club changed his life. He credited staff, like Frank Reyes, for their support and dedication. He commented how he was just playing basketball and hanging out with friends and did not realize until later on that he was learning life lessons– like learning to work with people from different socio-economic backgrounds and camaraderie. These lessons have been integral to his career.

Youth of the Year, Ingrid Rodriguez, a senior at Mark Keppel High School, shared how the Club allowed her to be a kid. She grew up without a mother and felt the responsibility to help raise her brother and do the housework, as her father worked hard for their family. For Ingrid, the Club gave her a space to have fun, make friends, and just be a kid. The Club also provided opportunities for her to grow and succeed.

The purpose of the Breakfast was to share with the community the programs that the Club offers kids and how these programs have impacted their lives and produced successful alumni. Community support, especially from elected leaders, business, and community leaders, are crucial to the success of the Club. Support from community leaders such as Gary Sims (Monterey Park Police Department), Brad Walsh (Director of Secondary Education at Alhambra Unified School District), Phil Cohen (Regional CEO at AHMC Healthcare) to elected leaders such as Congresswoman Judy Chu, who was instrumental in getting the Club a Federal grant for mentoring, are crucial to the Club’s success in helping kids overcome their circumstances, succeed, and become extraordinary.

The Great Futures Breakfast was hosted by SJL Insurance.

About the Boys & Girls Clubs of West San Gabriel Valley
The mission of the Boys & Girls Club of West San Gabriel Valley to enable all young people, especially those who need us the most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.

The Club serves kids ages 6 to 18 in the communities of Monterey Park, Alhambra, Rosemead, San Gabriel, Montebello, City of Industry, La Puente, and Baldwin Park. In addition, we now also serve Boyle Heights. In partnership with the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, we have units at Ramona Gardens and Estrada Courts Housing Projects. The Club delivers exciting and educational programs to over 2,100 boys and girls each year.

About SJL Insurance
The SJL Insurance Services, is a multi-line insurance agency, providing personalized insurance coverage for families and businesses, throughout Rosemead and the San Gabriel Valley Metro area of California. Services include Auto, Home, Life, Business & Commercial Insurance.


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