Lopez was also a finalist in 2009. He attends George West Junior High School, where he has received academic honors, participated in football and basketball. Growing up in a single parent household, he learned to accept responsibility at an early age.
Lopez is an accomplished guitarist, he is very active in his church and a member of the Dragon Slayers youth group. “He is an outstanding example and role model for other club members and his peers. He represents the values taught to children at the Boys & Girls Club and is a truly deserving winner of Youth of the Year honors,” said Boys & Girls Clubs Chief Professional Officer Michael Ginster.
Youth of the Year recipients are selected from Youth of the Month winners who are 14-18 years old. The Youth of the Month are selected by Three Rivers and George West club staff, who evaluate their behavior, responsibility, attendance, character and helpfulness during the month. Winners receive a plaque, a certificate and custom Youth of the Month T-shirt at the banquet. They may bring two guests to the banquet, which is by invitation only, so winners determine who gets to attend the banquet.
The Youth of the Year winner can go on to compete for state Youth of the Year and a $1,000 college scholarship. Winners are also eligible for a full tuition and fees scholarship for four years at Marquette University. The 50 state winners go on to compete for five regional Youth of the Year slots and $10,000 scholarships.
A National Youth of the Year is selected from the regional winners and receives an additional $15,000 scholarship. The winner is installed by the president of the United States in an Oval Office ceremony. Every Youth of the Year serves as a spokesperson and makes appearances for their local Boys & Girls club. The national Youth of the Year serves as a spokesperson for Boys & Girls Clubs of America.