The Rapidian

Steil Club member receives Community Spirit Award

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Cesar Vargas accepting his award as the local Youth of the Year.

Cesar Vargas accepting his award as the local Youth of the Year.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth are excited to recognize Steil Club member Cesar Vargas for his dedication to his community. Vargas was recently nominated for the 2nd Annual Community Spirit Award put on by Lighthouse Communities, Inc.

"We want to celebrate deserving individuals and organizations that work hard to make our communities shine and whose contributions make a difference to the greater community," wrote Lighthouse.

Vargas was nominated because of good judgment and strong decision-making skills in spite of the social pressures that surround him. He is a natural leader and works hard to show others that violence and gangs are not the only option for the at-risk youth of today.

"Cesar often steps in when he sees something that is not right," said Steil Club Director Kim Krajniak. "In the Club, we have seen him stand up to other members who were choosing to make poor decisions and help them to reconsider their actions."

The 2nd Annual Community Spirit Awards & Banquet celebrating the spirit of community in Kent County will be held on Thursday, March 25. Vargas won the Community Spirit Award (one among several other categories) which is "awarded to an individual within an organization that uses creative thinking and goes above and beyond the call of duty towards the mission and goals of their organization."

Vargas has been a Steil Club member for two years, and he values his membership greatly. In an essay he wrote for the National Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year competition (to take place in April), Vargas expressed his gratitude to the Club and its staff for their continued support and for providing him a second home.

"There are some teens that try to make a difference, but living without support is what drags them towards going down the wrong path," wrote Vargas. "I like being part of the Club because the staff actually care and want to see me graduate as well as be successful in life."

Vargas is involved as a leader in numerous activities at his high school and at the Club. He is an amazing role model and truly embodies the community spirit of his organization and Kent County.


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