Alison L. Rosa

A decade after joining Boys & Girls Club of Aguas Buenas, Alison L. Rosa has been selected as their new Youth of the Year. During the first stage of this journey at the Club, the twelfth grade student at Antolín Santos Negrón Vocational School forged discipline through taekwondo and learned not to give up, “keep trying until you achieve it”.

However, her participation in two leadership groups – Torch and Keystone Clubs – was were she developed the qualities that most define her today: leadership and dedication to service. “During these years at Keystone, I have held various positions, as a cameraman, vice president and most recently, president. Thanks to Keystone, I have presented community projects at the Youth Leadership Summit in Puerto Rico, and represented Puerto Rican youth at the Leadership Summit of Boys & Girls Clubs of America in Washington, DC. This experience broadened my vision of how to work with our communities”, says medial emergency course student.

Alison also highlights the academic support provided by the Club when, as she moved from one school to another, her grades were affected. “Club staff were engaged with my situation and submerged me in the mentoring program and gave me moral support to face my fear to new changes. Today, in my last year of high school, I have the best grades of my life … You never know how capable a person is until they try”, says the future veterinarian.

What obstacle or challenge have you experienced?

“I was never good at facing changes; I was always surrounded by the same people and friends, which is why my life changed when I started at the new Antolín Santos Negrón School. I didn’t know anyone and everything was different for me. It was a huge change, since I had never gone through a process like that. Imagine a young woman who loved her routine and doing things her own way had to change her comfort zone. I felt so lost.  I was not encouraged to study or getting good grades because I did not want to be there. Several Boys & Girls Club personnel noticed the change in my grades and my poor academic performance, and helped me overcome it.”

What characteristics should a leader have?

“A leader must know how to work in a team, learn the strengths of his teammates, speak correctly in front of people and know how to bear the responsibility of his group. A leader must help his companions to grow and develop as human beings and support them through every process and initiative they have so that together, we can meet the goals”.