Dos Pueblos High School junior Andrea Gallardo was named this year’s Youth of the Year by the United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County at the annual awards banquet Thursday.
Four nominated students from Boys & Girls Clubs in the county were honored at the event. Other nominees included Kalique Love of Lompoc, Stephanie Esparza of Carpinteria and Skylar Rauch of the Santa Barbara Club.
Each student prepared written presentations and presented a speech before a panel of community judges.
The judges included Erica Salda, president of E PRO Insurance; Randy Weiss, community outreach officer for Santa Barbara Bank & Trust; Dr. Andrea Seiffertt, certified ayurvedic practitioner; Laurie Cortez, certified educational consultant; and Marlys Boehm of Social Enterprise Networks of YPO/WPO. Salda, Cortez and Seiffertt are also cast members of Santa Barbara Teen Sports radio.
The students were assessed based on their presentation, work within the community, personal character and academic achievements. After deliberation, the judges announced 16-year-old Gallardo of the Goleta Boys & Girls Club as the winner.
Gallardo received a $500 academic scholarship and will move on to represent Santa Barbara County in the regional Youth of the Year competition. She was praised for her positive leadership, more than 225 hours of volunteer work and her academic success.
Additional awards were presented to community members who have dedicated their time as volunteers to the Boys & Girls Clubs. The work and the contributions of volunteers are imperative to the success of the clubs. Jim Crook, owner of Milpas Motors, was honored with the Volunteer of the Year award for his dedication and outstanding contribution.
The final award of the evening was the Pat Wargo Memorial Award. This award for Employee of the Year honors the late Pat Wargo, former unit director of the Westside Boys & Girls Club. Wargo’s daughter, Ingrid Meisel, presented the award to Goleta Boys & Girls Club unit director Joe Roderick. This is Roderick’s second time winning the award for his leadership and dedication to youth. Roderick thanked his staff and former Goleta unit director Sal Rodriguez for their hard work and example.
— Stephanie Dotson for the United Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara County.