Sandy Club Names Youth of the Year
May 05, 2016 02:23PM
● By Kelly Cannon
By Kelly Cannon | [email protected]
Sandy - Jazmine Reyes admits she used to be very shy. She described herself as being the person who would sit in the back, in a corner and would just watch people like a bird. However, for the past four years, Jazmine has been going to the Sandy Club: A Safe Place for Boys and Girls. This has helped her come out of her shell and begin to succeed at life. Seventeen-year-old Jazmine was recently named the Youth of the Year by the Sandy Club.
Every year for the past five years, the Sandy Club has named a Youth of the Year. This youth is typically someone who does well in school, is a responsible and good kid, who helps others at the club and is planning on going to college. Students interested in applying write an essay about what the club means to them.
“The club taught me to be myself. They’ve shown me how to survive in life and in school,” Jazmine said. “School is hard for me but they help me and they help others.”
In addition to being named Youth of the Year, Jazmine received the Dick Adair Scholarship worth $1,000.
Jazmine found out she was named Youth of the Year at the end of March. Jazmine said she broke down in tears.
“I didn’t think I would win but I did, so I started crying,” Jazmine said.
Linda Martinez Saville, the executive director of the Sandy Club, also broke down in tears when the Rotary Club presented Jazmine with her award.
“I am so proud of her,” Saville said. “I cannot think of someone who deserves it more.”
Saville said past winners have gone on to succeed in college. The first winner, Lilybeth Galena, is currently in college and will graduate in three semesters with a degree in teaching.
“Looking back, it’s good to see them continue to try,” Saville said.
Before joining the Sandy Club, Jazmine said she used to walk around Sandy and Midvale, or take TRAX up to Salt Lake after school.
“I liked to go out,” she said. “I didn’t want to stay at home alone.”
She then found out her friends would go to the Sandy Club after school. Jazmine’s mom then signed her and her siblings up to attend the club after school while she was working.
Every day after school, Jazmine and the other kids come to the Sandy Club. They get a snack and enjoy free time. The kids can play video games or play on the computer or just hang out with one another. Later, the kids play a game together like kickball, baseball, basketball or four-square. After the game, the kids sit down to do their homework. Tutors are available to help any students. Jazmine said the homework help has helped her a lot.
“They have encouraged me to do great in school and actually try,” Jazmine said in her Youth of the Year essay. “They have helped me so much in my education — whenever I am struggling, they will take the time and help me.”
Jazmine said her favorite subject in school is math.
“I know what to do in math,” she said. “I understand.”
Winning the Youth of the Year award has helped Jazmine build more confidence in herself. She plans on attending college to become a neonatal nurse.
“I know I can succeed,” Jazmine said. “I can accomplish more than I thought.”
According to Saville, the Sandy Club: A Safe Place for Boys and Girls was established to give every child a safe place to come after school. There is no bullying, the students have a place to do their homework and they can receive things such as food, clothing, shoes, underwear and school supplies.
“If there are families in need, we’ll take care of them,” Saville said.
The club serves about 100 children a day, five days a week. Saville said they never turn a child away.
“This is a safe haven for people to come to,” Saville said.