[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/10/12/art.boys.girls.club.jpg
caption=”Carolina Correa, 19, is the first Latina to win the award.”]
Carolina Correa is poised beyond her years. When I meet her, she is fresh- faced and enthusiastic. She walks with an entourage for the first time in her life, but it’s well-deserved. The 19-year-old is the Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year, representing 4.5 million young people in clubs throughout the country.
The fact that she is the first Latina named in the award’s 63-year history, isn’t something that’s lost on her. She came to the States when she was 12 years old from Colombia. Her dad was sick with kidney failure and her mom worked two jobs, so there was no one to take care of her. So, she joined the local Boys & Girls Club, where they taught her English and instilled the importance of education.
Carolina never stopped being active in the club. Over the last seven years, she has dedicated hundreds of hours to tutoring other immigrants. Her award gives her tens of thousands of dollars in scholarship money that allows her to go to college and a platform to speak her mind. “Get involved, get involved, get involved. Always strive to be your best and always believe in yourself because no one else will do it for you,” Carolina says.
Update: Watch the CNN.com Live interview
Carolina….continue to BE GREAT!!! Congratulations to you and the many participants of Youth Of The Year!
Like many stories across the United States this just prove that young people still can make things happen . She could of simply gave up on life when her daddy got sick. Instead she kept being active in all the things she was doing because she probably figure that her didn’t need anymore stress on her. I wish it was more young teens like her. She didn’t let anybody or anything stop her.
Congratulations on this honor! Why do you think there has never been a Latino Youth of the Year before?
congatulations to your success.
Congratulations! My wife is also Colombian, and you have demonstrated that Colombia can produce some of the best and brightest in the world. I hope you continue to inspire not only we Americans but also Colombians and other Latin Americans. Felicitaciones otra vez!
Thats my Girl.
But how did you discover the Boy & Girls Club when you first came to America?
Truly truly Inspiring…
It’s always inspiring to see someone who doesn’t give up on life difficulties, but fight back and win… no matter what race she or he is…
Btw do you know that now, Correa is also a swim coach at the same club she attended.
“In my state, swimming lessons are a luxury,” she said. “A lot of minority kids in my community wouldn’t be able to swim if it wasn’t for the Boys & Girls Club.”
Who wants to join Correa’s swimming lesson ? 🙂
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Nice job! your story really inspired me to hold on to my dream of becoming a business owner and to keep doing good in school because all my hard work is goign to pay off in the future. I know that i am going to be successful in the future because i have faith in myself.
I am a Latina like you which means that we can be successful like others. Love Nancy Gamino and i hope the best for you!
Congratulations! Our neighborhood had a rapid growing problem of gangs, drugs, theft, and all other crimes. When the BGCA opened in my neighborhood in the 90’s, it played a very big positive impact by lowering crime and allowing the kids to experiment with positive fun activities, rather than what the bad influences on the street had to offer.
Carolina, keep up the good work and take advantage of promoting a positive impact to the world with this opportunity.
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