Celebrating International Day of the Boy

May 16 is International Day of the Boy, a day focused on the well-being of boys and a wonderful opportunity to honor the incredible young men in our Clubs. Every boy deserves to be happy, healthy, and valued in their community. We're dedicated to providing mentorship programs and activities that empower boys to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals.  

This year, we're highlighting the Club members whose leadership, growth, and vision made them 2024 Youth of the Year Club winners. 

Read on to meet some of the inspiring young men finding their way at the Club. 


Youth of the Year Senior Club Winner 

Gilberto T. | Robert M. Shopneck Boys & Girls Club 

“The Club is a comforting and welcoming place, where I am encouraged to explore my interests." 

Gilberto's journey at Suncor Boys & Girls Club has transformed him from a young kid struggling to make friends into a confident leader and mentor. For Gilberto, his Club welcomed and encouraged him to explore his interests in arts and crafts. Now, as a Work-Based Learner, he mentors younger Club members, helping with their reading and math homework and ensuring they feel included and supported. From playing card games to reading a good book together to debating why a hot dog should be considered a sandwich, every member can find a friend in Gilberto.    

Outside of his passion for mentorship, Gilberto has ambitions to excel in the medical and research fields. Gilberto has already obtained first aid and basic life support certifications and is working towards his CNA certification. He aims to earn a Bachelor of Science in Quantitative Biology and subsequently enter an MSTP program to achieve an M.D. and Ph.D. degree, blending his interests in clinical research and medicine. 

Gilberto's experience at Suncor Boys & Girls Club has deepened his love for education and teaching. He finds joy in breaking down complex topics to help Club members achieve their academic goals. Gilberto believes knowledge is power and fundamental to personal growth, a conviction that drives his efforts to help every kid perform to the best of their abilities. 

Youth of the Year Junior Club Winner 

Emanie R. | Arthur E. Johnson Boys & Girls Club 

“Ever since I started going to the Club, I gained brothers, not just friends.” 

For Emanie, Arthur E. Johnson Boys & Girls Club is more than just a place to go after school; it is a second home where he has found a family. Emanie first came to the Club at 10, having just moved to Colorado, seeking friendship and familiarity. Reflecting on his first day in the Club, Emanie shared, "All of the butterflies in my stomach disappeared when I walked through the Club doors. I was welcomed with love and still get that same feeling in the Club today."  

Emanie fondly recalls his early days at the Club, where he enjoyed playing bumper pool and basketball, as well as participating in activities like the Club Buck Auction. This event, where members earned "Club bucks" for helping around the Club, became a highlight for Emanie, culminating in his proud acquisition of an Xbox Series X. 

One of Emanie's dreams as a high school athlete is to play professional football in the National Football League (NFL). He believes he can make this dream a reality with enough effort, serving as a role model for younger kids in his community. Understanding the importance of excelling in sports and academics to reach these goals, Emanie balances his busy schedule with his commitment to the Club. 

Since joining the Club, Emanie has found not just friends but brothers, realizing that the Club is about building a family and creating a home. Now, as an older member of the Club, Emanie sees his role as a leader to the younger kids. He hopes to instill an understanding of the importance of friendship and making an impact in the world in new members and hopes they experience the same joy and sense of belonging that he did. 

Youth of the Year Club Winner Ages 10-13 

Devon J. | Crawford Boys & Girls Club 

“At the Club, I have learned how to make new friends, how to be safe, and how to help everyone.” 

Devon is a fifth-grade student who has attended Crawford Boys and Girls Club for two years. At his Club, he expanded his community, learned healthy habits, and discovered new ways to impact others. Devon appreciates the Club staff and participating in each Club programming activity, from the art room and learning center, to the STEM lab and gym.  

He enjoys expressing his imagination through various art forms like painting, oil pastels, and watercolors, many of which he learned in the Club. Soccer, his favorite hobby, showcases his skills as he plays on his school team, the Club team, and a weekend league, excelling as a striker. Devon finds joy in teaching the younger kids at the Club how to score goals, combining his love for soccer with his passion for helping others. 

When not in the Club, Devon finds happiness in spending time with his pets, Sparky the dog and Oreo the cat, who provide him with unconditional love and joy. Devon is grateful for the opportunities and experiences at the Crawford Boys and Girls Club, which contribute to his daily happiness and personal growth. 


We are proud to celebrate these inspiring young men, their achievements, and the positive impact of Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver this International Day of the Boy.    

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