Youth of the Year Winner Announced
The Aztec Boys & Girls Club is proud to announce its 2013 Youth of the Year Jeramiah Lucero. Jeramiah has lived in Aztec his whole life and been a club member since he was six years old. As a youngster, he liked playing pool, using the computers, and playing basketball while at the Club. Currently, he serves as president for Keystone Club, the organization’s most dynamic teen program that affords members an opportunity to gain valuable leadership and service experience. Jeramiah will graduate Aztec High School this May and is excited to attend San Juan College in the fall. He will travel to Alamogordo the first weekend in March to compete with other teens from across the state of New Mexico as the first step in the Youth of the Year contest. Youth of the Year is Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s premier youth recognition program for Club members. It promotes and celebrates service to Club, community and family; academic performance; moral character; life goals; and poise and public speaking ability. State winners receive scholarships to college and will go on to compete at the regional level. We are so proud of Jeramiah and wish him the best of luck!
New Contests at the Teen Center
The Aztec Boys & Girls Club’s Teen Center introduced two new contests during the fall semester which were hugely successful. The Tiger Point competition encourages members to become involved in club activities, stay healthy, and keep a positive attitude. Every day that club members visit the Teen Center they can earn points which are then put towards a 1,000 point goal. Last semester’s goal was met first by Shelby Bradford, a student at Koogler Middle School, who won a brand new mountain bike for her hard work. The contest is starting over this semester with the prize being an Amazon Kindle. Club members are excitedly working for this new goal. The second competition was exclusively for high school members who are involved in their community. Teens had to submit all volunteer hours that occurred during the first semester of school. The Teen Center’s winner was Jeramiah Lucero, a senior at Aztec High School, who volunteered 103 hours to the Aztec and San Juan County community. He won an awesome new mountain bike for his determination and hard work. The Teen Center and The Boys & Girls Club is extremely proud of Shelby and Jeramiah, along with all the other members that competed, and are looking forward to another fierce competition. Keep up the hard work guys!
Keystone Club in the News
Updated: 12/03/2012 10:39:08 PM MST
AZTEC — Though its numbers may be small, a teen group hopes to make a big difference in San Juan County.
Since forming in January, the five-member Keystone Club, a national Boys and Girls Club teen program, has been volunteering its time doing everything from tutoring Koogler Middle School students to weeding garden planters along South Main Street.
In March, Mayor Sally Burbridge recognized the teens for their community service.
Today, they launch a program to tutor high schoolers in SAT-preparation at their home base, the Boys and Girls Club Teen Center. "We do a lot of fun stuff, volunteer stuff, but we also promote academics and helping with SAT prep is a logical step for us," said Kylie Kingsbury, Aztec Teen Center director and adviser to the club. The center uses computer-based, interactive multimedia software to aid school students seeking help preparing for the standardized college-entrance test, Kingsbury said. When not prepping teens for college, the group actively rolls up its sleeves to help out around the community in any way it can. The group just wrapped up a busy weekend in three different locations around the county.
It began by laying mulch at the Good Samaritan's Community Garden Saturday morning. President Jaramiah Lucero, 17, helped tear apart broken pallets to construct a compost bin. "We spent a couple of hours in the morning hours assisted by garden coordinator Joann Clifford," Lucero said, a palpable, restless energy coming through his every word. "We really seemed to help and learn a bunch in the process." After tending to the garden, Lucero and four other club members took their efforts down to the Aztec Recycling Center to help separate recyclable items. Lucero has led his club to effect change at Aztec High School this year, spreading the word about the recycling center and pushing to reduce the amount of landfill trash by students. "I really noticed Aztec needed help raising awareness," Kingsbury said. "And, man, Jaramiah has the recycling movement in his blood. It's quite amazing to see the ripple effect one energetic guy can produce."
At San Juan College on Sunday, the club helped pick up the tens of thousands of luminarias after the campus-wide holiday display. "The Keystone club were a great group among the volunteers we had to help clean up after our event," Marsha Sterlington, student activities director, said. "They just showed up and we really appreciate that kind of support." Lucero got the idea to form a Keystone group in Aztec during a trip to Santa Fe for a "Boys & Girls Club Day at the Roundhouse" event, designed to bring elected officials and club teens together to learn about leadership. But it was another club member he met while at the Capitol that made a lasting impression. "I met these club members from Santa Fe who were part of the Keystone club," Lucero said. "And I said, "I don't have that in my town. I want to be a part of that.'"
Soon, with Aztec Boys and Girls club Director Erin Collins' approval, the group was off and running. Literally. "We had not had an active Keystone club in quite awhile," Collins said. "Jaramiah got involved and all that changed. I had been trying for years to drum up interest in recycling but it was nearly overnight under Jaramiah. He's like the pied piper, all these young kids bringing in their shampoo bottles, soda cans, you name it." "And, guess what?" Lucero said. "It turns out that it doesn't take that much to get involved. And it's a lot of fun, too."
The Aztec Keystone club meets every Tuesday at the Aztec Teen Center at 6 p.m. For more information call 505-334-1448.
Attention Teens: Summer Fun in the Sun
Join fitness instructor Shannon McCain for this blast of a dance class. It’s a fast-forward fusion of the Zumba program’s moves and workouts designed to let teens max out on fun, and fitness all at the same time. Safe and effective, teens won’t be able to wait to get into the Zumbatomic groove. Watch the energy and fitness level soar as your teen gets the groove!
M-F June 4th – June 15th 1:00 – 2:00 pm $20
If summer doldrums get you down, you can always try something fast and furious for your fitness. Come join the fun at the Farmington Recreation Center if you want to get a good workout, sweat and have fun. All different fitness levels can play and enjoy this exciting sport.
T&TH June 5, 7, 19 & 21 10:00 am – 12:00 pm $10
(Transportation will be provided from club)
Fun In The Kitchen
Join us for Fun in the Kitchen with Ms. Angela Watkins. Teens will learn how to prepare a proper meal from start to finish along with proper cooking etiquette.
M-F July 16th – July 20th 10:00 – 11:30 am $12
Classes are open to all members 6th grade and up. The membership fee is $10. To Register at the club or find out more you can Contact Us.
Aztec Keystone Teen Leadership Movement
Volunteers with La Plata Keystone Club at Manna Soup Kitchen
On Wednesday, April 11th, members of the Aztec Keystone Teen Leadership Movement joined several members of the La Plata County Keystone Club and volunteered to serve at the Manna Soup Kitchen. For 25 years Manna Soup Kitchen has provided nourishing meals and supportive services for those in need in Durango. Member’s of Aztec’s newly formed Keystone Club wanted to meet La Plata members to network, discuss fundraising experiences and have a positive experience providing a well needed service to those in need. The members expressed appreciation for and were humbled by the experience.
The members are very ambitious and spent several hours the very next day at the Four Corner’s Good Samaritan Village orienting themselves to volunteer and spend time with the residents of the Village. Additionally, they are organizing two events for Saturday, April 21st in honor of Earth Day. First they will have an informational booth at the Aztec Ruins National Monument as they participate in the Ruin’s annual Earth Day celebration and second members will volunteer with the City of Aztec during their annual Spring Clean up at the City complex.
The Aztec Keystone Teen Leadership Movement began organizing in January and has close to twenty members committed to advancing their personal and professional development as well as giving back to the community. Members meet every Friday at The Aztec Teen Center, behind the Sonic at 4PM to discuss ways to advance their professional experiences. For more information you may contact Jeramiah Lucero, Youth Development Staff member at the Aztec Boy’s & Girl’s Club Teen Center.
Clean Up Time
Aztec Keystone Teen Leadership Movement
Hosts Aztec Community Park Clean Up
On Saturday, February 25th, local teen leaders coordinated and led a team of at least 45 local volunteers on what was a picture perfect day of park cleaning. Members of the Keystone Teen Leadership Movement, an organized initiative housed at the Aztec Boys & Girls Club Teen Center, kicked off the first of what will be many community service initiatives in the area. After careful coordination, members and volunteers scoured both Riverside and Hartman Parks for trash and recyclables.
Prior to the volunteers venturing out, members of the Leadership Movement outlined what materials were to be collected, separated and then provided to the Aztec Recycle Center on Ash Street. President Jeramiah Lucero and Vice-President Cassi Halsted provided a welcoming for the volunteers and broke participants into groups that focused on specific areas of the parks. Secretary Claudia Anaya and acting Treasurer Laura Duke, collected donations and handed out trash bags and gloves for volunteers.
A special thanks goes out to the City of Aztec Parks and Recreation Department who supplied the trash bags, gloves and safety vests and to Randy Hodge owner of Rubio’s Restaurant who donated lunch for the volunteers.
Aztec Keystone Teen Leadership Movement
Hosts Mayor Sally Burbridge During Open House
On Tuesday, April 3rd, members of the Aztec Keystone Teen Leadership Movement hosted an open house at The Teen Center. The purpose of the Open House was to invite Aztec High School Students to check out the Teen Center and let it be known that the Center will be opening its doors every Tuesday evening from 6pm to 9pm solely for High School Students. This includes Vista Nueva and the Aztec Dormitory. If students are interested in returning on a regular basis membership is required.
Approximately 25 students chose to participate and President of the Keystone Teen Leadership Movement, Jeramiah Lucero kicked things off by introducing Mayor Sally Burbridge. The Mayor took time out of her schedule to provide the teens with a perspective of her path to leadership and how the members may become more involved and engaged in their community no matter where they choose to live. Sally ended up spending more than an hour fielding questions about participating in local government, whether she likes her job as Mayor and what the qualifications are when running for the City Commission. Students expressed interest in building recycling efforts in Aztec, beautifying the pond area in Riverside Park and possibly working with the City to develop a Local Government Youth Advisory Council that would be appointed by the Commission and provide advisory input for the Commission.
The Aztec Keystone Teen Leadership Movement began organizing in January and has close to twenty members committed to advancing their personal and professional development as well as giving back to the community. Members meet every Friday at the Aztec Teen Center, behind the Sonic at 4PM to discuss ways to advance their professional experiences. Teens from San Juan County, 9th grade and up are welcome to join the Movement. Members are required to join the Aztec Teen Center which costs ten dollars per year. For more information you may contact Jeramiah Lucero, Youth Development Staff member at the Aztec Boy’s & Girl’s Club teen Center.
Up With People
Thank You Up With People
The Aztec Boys & Girls Club would like to thank Up With People for sending volunteers to the club to do community service on Wednesday, February 15th. Seventeen volunteers between the ages of 17 – 29 from all over the world came and spent half of the day doing a “much-needed” painting of the gymnasium. The group of students was in positive spirits the entire time and did an amazing job. A total of 120 volunteers spent the week of February 13th through February 17th completing community service projects across San Juan County. The groups visit concluded with an international cultural show produced and performed by the students on Friday, February 17th at the Farmington Civic Center. All of the proceeds were donated to the Aztec Boys and Girls Club, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bloomfield and Farmington, the Kirtland Youth Association, and the San Juan College Foundation.
Our Day at the Round House
Three Youth Representatives from the Aztec Boys & Girls Club had the opportunity to be officially recognized on the floor of the House and meet Governor Suzan Martinez, Senator Steven Neville and Representative Paul Bandy recently. On January 25th, Laura Duke, Alicia Grey, and Jeramiah Lucero attended the second annual “Boys & Girls Club Day at the Roundhouse.”
This is an exceptional opportunity for our own youth to speak up and be a voice for the community of Aztec and the programs and activities available from the Aztec Boys & Girls Club. Each year The Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs of New Mexico set up one-on-one meetings with State Senators and Legislators. The Alliance represents the Clubs of New Mexico and provides a coordinated state and national voice on behalf of each Club. The Alliance is strategically positioned to be able to tap into state and federal funding and then distribute that funding back to local communities on an equitable basis. The purpose of the visit is many-fold, but primarily to send a collective message to each law maker about the importance of Clubs across the state as well as communicating specific activities that are occurring within each of their jurisdictions.
This year Laura Duke, Alicia Gray and Jeramiah Lucero had the opportunity to meet and take a photo with Governor Suzan Martinez as well as talk directly with Senator Steven Neville and Representative Paul Bandy. Currently Laura, Alicia and Jeramiah are Youth Development Leaders for the Aztec Boys & Girls Club, and each took a moment to express the affect the Club has had on their lives as well as what the Club offers the youth and the community. During their visit, the House convened for a day of hearings and the Speaker of the House, Ben Lujan had the secretary read a memorial specifically acknowledging the importance of the work the Clubs across the state are providing.
The visit to Santa Fe came on the heels of nation-wide news from the Foundation for Child Development. The report, Investing in Public Programs Matters: How State Policies Impact Children’s Lives is the first report to provide a comprehensive measure of children’s quality-of-life on a state-by-state basis. The index is an objective look at the investments states make in public programs for youth. Given the federal government generally does not provide specific sustainable funding for youth programs, the burden generally falls on state governments. Unfortunately, New Mexico ranked at the very bottom of the index for quality- of- life for youth. William O’Hare, primary author of the report, states, “When we don’t invest in children, we see real consequences. In this time of economic uncertainty, it is critical that we do a better job of helping children become the productive workers and engaged citizens of tomorrow.” The report may be downloaded from the Foundation for Child Development website at http://fcd-us.org.
With this knowledge, both the work of the Alliance and leadership from the youth of the Aztec Boys & Girls Club is critically important for the continued and well needed investment from our lawmakers in Santa Fe. For that, we thank Laura, Alicia, and Jeramiah for their leadership.
From left to right - Alicia, Governor Martinez, Jeramiah and Laura.