State leaders, members, highlight success of Boy’s and Girl’s Club

Political News

BOSTON (WWLP) – A national organization is helping shape young people’s lives in western Massachusetts.The Boys and Girls Club is giving young people a place to achieve academic success, play sports and develop leadership skills. One Westfield high schooler told 22News the club helped him overcome obstacles as a child.State legislators and Boys and Girls Club members highlighted the organization’s impact at an advocacy day at the State House Thursday.

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Westfield State Representative John Velis said the Boys and Girls Club helped shape his life. He played basketball with Westfield’s Boys and Girls Club in his youth and later became a mentor to Gabe Santos.The Westfield High School senior was named this year’s Youth of the Year for his leadership, service and academic excellence.

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Santos found a support system through the club which helped him to overcome troubles he was dealing with at home.He hopes to inspire others to do the same.“It’s been a second home where I can really be my true self and really help others and inspire them to be their greatest selves,” Santos told 22News.Santos has big dreams to become a surgeon someday.

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