United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County named Brian Mendoza from Carpinteria Youth of the Year for their organization. Teen directors and club directors from each of the organization’s sites in the county, select one youth to compete for UBGC Youth of the Year. The top two contestants this year were winner Brian Mendoza and runner-up Monica Bueno from the Westside Unit.
The Carpinteria Unit has now won Youth of the Year for the second year in a row. Asked what winning the award would mean to him, Mendoza responded, “If I win Youth of the Year, I would be grateful because it means that I have been working hard and doing the right thing to be successful.”
Mendoza is a sophomore at Carpinteria High School, and he shared how UBGC is important to him because the staff is like family. His passion is to teach others to stay focused on their goals, and he feels the club allows him to do this. Additionally, Mendoza explained that he developed an interest in studying sports medicine after suffering a sports concussion.
The evening consisted of a 15-judge panel from Santa Barbara, and youth nominees were asked to share about what the club meant to them. A series of other questions followed, and competitors finished with a speech. Staff members then answered questions about challenges the youth have overcome in their time with the Boys & Girls Club.
Mendoza will next complete at the Coastal Area Council Competition in March. If he wins there, he will then compete for State Youth of the Year honors in Sacramento.