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Maritza Garcia, 2015 Youth of the Year, with Boys & Girls Clubs Executive Director James Littlejohn. Photo: Courtesy
Maritza Garcia, 2015 Youth of the Year, with Boys & Girls Clubs Executive Director James Littlejohn. Photo: Courtesy

The Capistrano Dispatch

Each year, one exceptional young person from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley rises to the role of Youth of the Year—the clubs’ recognition program that celebrates the extraordinary achievements of their members. This year, that youth is Maritza Garcia, a senior at San Juan Hills High School.

Garcia has been a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley for 10 years. Coming from a family in which neither parent speaks English, Maritza turned to the clubs as her “home away from home.” The Boys & Girls Clubs provided Garcia the guidance and opportunity to participate in a variety of life-enhancing programs that have led her to where she is today.

Garcia has already been accepted to multiple four-year colleges and plans to major in international business. Proudly, she will be the first in her family to attend college. She is currently a member of the Keystone Club, Toastmasters, the senior division softball team and College Bound programs. Garcia has also participated in Smart Girls, Girls Scouts and Sea Tech, an oceanography program. The high school senior is presently working toward her goal of working internationally by traveling to Mexico every other weekend to perform mission work.

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