Christopher Rojas, a student at Animo Venice Charter High School, has been named the Boys & Girls Club of Venice’s 2011 Youth of the Year, the highest honor that a club member can receive.
Rojas was selected for the award at a special ceremony presented by Microsoft at Digital Domain in Venice Feb. 17. The other award finalists were Venice High School students Angelique Paul and Xiaoxiong Xiao.
Rojas is among hundreds of Youths of the Year selected by Boys & Girls Clubs across the country.
“We are extremely proud of our finalists’ academic performance and community commitment,” said Erikk Aldridge, the Venice club’s executive director. “They, along with our past Youth of the Year honorees, prove that the value of a club membership is immeasurable.”
The Youth of the Year title recognizes outstanding contributions to a member’s family, school, community and Boys & Girls Club. The program was founded over 60 years ago through the generosity of the Reader’s Digest Foundation.
The Boys & Girls Club of Venice’s 2011 Youth of the Year judges were board member Linda Weber, Tim Enstice of Digital Domain, Gail Goldstein of Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary, Sierra Domaille of Nike and Corinne Weitzman of the Wise Family Foundation.
Other judges include Lucas da Silva of Universal Art Gallery, Sibyl Buchanan of Playa Vista, Robbin and Kenny Morgan, Sharon O’Rourke of Sempra Energy, Laura Maslon, Alicia Teofilo, Simon Mellor of Flake Restaurant and Pat Kandel of Coldwell Banker.
In addition to recognizing the Youth of the Year at the ceremony, the club presented a Community Leader Award to outgoing board member and Coldwell Banker Real Estate executive Kandel. The club also recognized its members who recently participated in the organization’s fine arts competition.
As the Venice club’s Youth of the Year, Rojas will compete against other Boys & Girls Club members for the Los Angeles County Youth of the Year.
The five regional winners will travel to Washington, D.C., in September to compete for the title of Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Youth of the Year. The National Youth of the Year receives an additional $15,000 college scholarship and is installed by the President in an Oval Office ceremony.