LocationAlhambra , CA United States
Monterey Park, CA, November 30, 2017 – Kaitelynn Ng, senior at Mark Keppel High School, was
named the Boys & Girls Club of West San Gabriel Valley’s (Club) Youth of the Year. Youth of the
Year is one of the Boys & Girls Clubs’ premier programs that celebrates the extraordinary
achievements of Club members. Each year, one exceptional member from Clubs across the
country is selected to be the National Youth of the Year, who serves as an ambassador for the
Boys & Girls Club youth and as a strong voice for all of our nation’s young people. The journey to
becoming the National Youth of the Year begins at the local Club.
Kaitelynn has been a Club member for three years. She is active in many of the Club’s programs
and currently serves as the President of both Leadership In Training and Keystone (volunteer
program). She also participated in the Club’s STEM Sailing Program, volleyball, Minding Manners
(etiquette class), and Brent’s Club (alcohol and drug abuse prevention program). She is also
involved with Mark Keppel High School’s Interact Club, a volunteer Club.
In her speech before an audience of more than 100 community members, Kaitelynn shared how
she found herself deep in the shell with her biological mother’s physical and mental abuse. “Then
my father and stepmother had me join the Club. And I felt safe and that I could be a kid again.”
“Kaitelynn has overcome a lot,” says JR Dzubak, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club of
West San Gabriel Valley. “She is a completely different person from when she started. She used
to just sit in the office all afternoon. Once she started participating in the programs, she almost
suddenly changed. She is now one of the Club leaders. She is inclusive and always making sure
that her peers feel included and are part of whatever activity they are doing. She is also a lot of
fun that her peers follow her lead.”
In order to apply as a Youth of the Year candidate, applicants must be a member of the local club
for at least two years. They also have to complete an application packet that includes submission
of an essay, letters of recommendation, and transcript. Thereafter, they go before a panel of
judges and give a speech on their personal stories which also includes their club experience, their
brand, and vision for America’s youth.
These year’s judges who had to make the tough decision of only being able to pick one winner for
the Club’s Youth of the Year competition included Ed Chen from Athens Disposal, Tad McKinney
from Quemetco, Marco A. Rodriguez from Wells Fargo, Amanda Holt from UPS, and Kurtis O.
Sundblom from Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Kurtis co-chaired with Donna De La Rosa from Garfield
There were nine other candidates whose applications and speeches were stellar. They include:
Angel Silva, Nicole Balbuena, Pragya Koirala. Sofia Garcia, Juan Rodriguez, Matthew Barsegian,
Crystal Sanchez, Jesus Morales, and Isaiah Cruz.
Monterey Park Councilmen Peter Chan and Hans Liang attended the event, as they have every
year. Baldwin Park Councilwoman Cruz Baca was also present. Representatives from the Offices
of Congresswoman Judy Chu, Assembly Majority Leader Ian C. Calderon, Assemblyman Ed Chau,
Assemblywoman Blanca E. Rubio, and County Supervisor Hilda Solis also attended. All 10
candidates received commendations from the elected officials. In addition to the support from
the elected leaders, John Scanlan, Principal of Mark Keppel High School, and Brad Walsh, Director
of Secondary Education for the Alhambra Unified School District, as well as a few teachers and
staff from the schools, were present to support the candidates.
Kaitelynn advances to the Los Angeles County competition, which will be in Spring 2018. She will
also be speaking before various organizations to share how the Club has changed her life and
helped her grow as a leader.
ABOUT BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF WEST SAN GABRIEL VALLEY
Since 1972, the Boys & Girls Club of West San Gabriel Valley has provided a safe and structured
environment to youth where they can learn and grow through access to high quality after school
programs. The Club’s mission is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most,
to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens.