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Tuesday, January 22 , 2019, 5:41 pm | Fair 58º


Layla Landeros, San Marcos High Junior, Earns Goleta Teen of the Year Honors

Dos Pueblos High senior Cindy Diaz named runner-up from 6 finalists in Rotary Club of Goleta Noontime program


San Marcos High School junior Layla Landeros was honored as 2017 Goleta Teen of the Year by the Rotary Club of Goleta Noontime at a Monday evening presentation at Glen Annie Golf Club.

Landeros, the 17-year-old daughter of Wendy and Jose Landeros, is vice president of San Marcos High’s AAPLE Academy, an accelerated academic program for leadership and enrichment. She has been a cheerleader for three years and founded Royal Gems, a cheer team for students with disabilities that recently was featured in Noozhawk.

She also is a puppy raiser for Guide Dogs for the Blind, cyber tutors elementary school students in math and literacy, is involved with the Girl Scouts, and this summer will travel with her church, Santa Barbara Community Church, to participate in missionary work in the Philippines.

She currently has a 4.4 grade-point average, and plans to major in environmental science in college and to serve with the Peace Corps for two years in a developing country.

A $2,500 scholarship was presented to Landeros on behalf of the Rotary Club, along with another $1,000 from the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce.

“I am so thankful to be named Goleta Teen of the Year and am proud to represent Goleta,” Landeros told Noozhawk. “The program was an incredible experience, and I enjoyed meeting all of the other talented teens.”

Runner-up was Dos Pueblos High senior Cindy Diaz, who serves as Associated Student Body vice president, is captain of the Dos Pueblos Mock Trial Team and is a leader of the Santa Barbara Youth Council.

Other 2017 finalists were Dos Pueblos seniors Seneca Bohley and Amanda Hagen, Dos Pueblos junior Susanna Sinclair and San Marcos senior Gabriela Goldberg.

Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen and Goleta Union School District Superintendent Bill Banning co-emceed the awards part of the program, and recognized last year’s Goleta Teen of the Year, Nathan Alvarez, a 2016 Dos Pueblos graduate and USC freshman majoring in mechanical engineering.

Alvarez was unable to attend, but was represented by his parents, Virginia and Michael Alvarez. They were presented with proclamations from Mayor Paula Perotte and representatives of Santa Barbara County Supervisors Joan Hartmann and Janet Wolf; Assemblywoman Monique Limón, D-Santa Barbara; state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara; and Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara.

Coincidentally, Alvarez and Landeros are cousins.

Longtime Goleta Teen of the Year chairwoman Connie Burns expressed her appreciation for the dozens of students who participated in the program, and for the Rotary and community members who make it possible.

“I have chaired this program for 23 years, and I am still amazed to see the amazing accomplishments of these young people in our community,” she said. “They share a love of Goleta and give back to their community in so many unique ways.

“Not only does our Rotary Club support scholarships for these deserving young people, we also contribute to nonprofits such as Girsh Park, the Goleta Valley Historical Society, the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, and many others. We also donate a dictionary to every Goleta third-grader.”

For more than 20 years, the community service award has recognized male and female teenagers for their contributions to the Goleta community. To qualify, students must be juniors or seniors at Bishop Diego, Dos Pueblos, Laguna Blanca or San Marcos high schools, or an accredited home school, and live in the 93110, 93111, 93117 or 93118 ZIP codes.

The six Teen of the Year finalists each receive financial scholarships, and a donation is given in their names to nonprofit organizations selected by each finalist.

Goleta-based Deckers Brands was the Platinum sponsor of the program, and Gold sponsors were the Rotary Club of Goleta Noontime, Goleta Jewelers and the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Judges for the contest were Burns, Macfadyen, Perotte, Michelle Apodaca of Deckers Brands, Eric Onnen of Santa Barbara Airbus and Scott Phillips, president of Rotary Club of Goleta Noontime.

From nearly 60 entries, Burns and her committee — Banning, Onnen, City Councilman Michael Bennett and chapter president Clara van Meeuwen — narrowed the field to the six finalists.

The event committee included Burns, Banning, Phillips, van Meeuwen, Sunanda Bhargava, Michael Gartzke, David Gore, Christine LeBon, Pat McFarland and Karin Napel.

Rotary Club of Goleta Noontime is one of 34,000 clubs worldwide with more than 1.2 million member Rotarians. Click here for more information.

Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk and @NoozhawkNews. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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