Quite an honor for a Lower East Side student! Carlos Valdez, a senior at Bard High School Early College, is the Boys and Girls Club New York State Youth of the Year. Carlos made the trip to Albany with Amarilis Perez, director of the Educational Alliance Teen Center, to be honored by State Senator Daniel Squadron.
Carlos credits the Teen Center for helping him succeed “I have gained a family that supports my dreams and helps me cope with the daily challenges I face in my community,” he said. Carlos won $2,000 from the Boys & Girls Clubs — and the chance to compete in regional and national competitions later this year.
Carlos is a resident of the Baruch Houses. At the “Edgies” Teen Center, he takes part in college prep mentoring, peer tutoring, digital photography, improvisational acting and SAT prep. He is an assistant teacher at his church and a member of the youth ministry. He plans to go on to a four-year college with a major in engineering, and dreams of working one day at NASA.
On the Senate floor, Squadron noted the Educational Alliance has produced two of the last three Youth of the Year winners. He also praised Perez for her leadership at the Teen Center. You can see his full remarks below: