Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco is pleased to announce that Sabrina McFarland from the Visitacion Valley Clubhouse is Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco’s 2019 Citywide Youth of the Year. As the Citywide Youth of the Year, Sabrina will receive a college scholarship worth $10,000 and continue on to compete in Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Northern California Youth of the Year competition. In the fall, Sabrina hopes to attend Columbia University for her undergraduate studies as she works towards her dream of being a lawyer focused on social justice reform in our country. Sabrina is a twelve-year member of BGCSF, attending both the Visitacion Valley Clubhouse and Camp Mendocino, our summer camp in the heart of the redwoods.
On Wednesday, February 6th, more than 800 community partners and supporters came together and joined us in celebrating the achievements of Sabrina and our five other outstanding Youth of the Year at the 11th Annual Charles Schwab Youth of the Year Luncheon. The Luncheon was a huge success and we couldn't have done it without the great leadership and generosity provided by our event co-chairs Maria Pao Khuth Bolin, Assistant Chief of Police Toney Chaplin, Drew McKnight, and Chris Roeder. We thank them for the leadership and generosity that they have shown in support of San Francisco youth.
Additionally, BGCSF greatly appreciates the generosity of sponsors, guests, volunteers, and City partners for making this event a huge success. A special acknowledgement to our lead sponsors, Charles Schwab and BlackRock. Together, we raised just over $1 million to support all the programs we offer across 15 locations in San Francisco, aiding youth as they reach for their dreams and achieve great futures.
The Charles Schwab Youth of the Year Luncheon is the culmination of a four-month, intense leadership development program that involves public speaking, one-on-one mentorship, essay writing, and team building. Throughout the course of the program, with the help of caring BGCSF staff and volunteers, Youth of the Year finalists grow and flourish into confident leaders with inspirational goals for their futures and the futures of their peers.
At the event, the exemplary leadership of the six teens was on display as each Youth of the Year took the stage to eloquently and courageously share their story. Each finalist communicated their personal journey to becoming Youth of the Year, touching on how embracing the support of the Club staff and participating actively in the programs has made a huge difference in their lives.
“The Club stayed consistent while my world was being turned upside down,” said Sabrina during her speech. “It provided me with hobbies, activities, and a safe place to grow and learn… to be more than my circumstances. In retrospect, I can barely remember the times I struggled, thanks to the support the Club provided.”
Speaking about the Club’s role in her life, Excelsior Clubhouse Youth of the Year Cindy Lei was quick to sing the praises of her experiences with BGCSF. “It’s a really big privilege for me to be Youth of the Year -- to represent my Clubhouse and to be able to talk about all of the things they’ve given me and that they’ve helped me become. I really want to show the world and show San Francisco how much the Boys & Girls Club means to me.”
Speaking on Sabrina’s achievement, BGCSF staff was quick to praise her for the exceptional young person and role model she is.
Issachar Curbeon, BGCSF’s Learning and Development Coordinator, who also served as one of McFarland’s coaches said, “I’ve seen her make huge strides since she first started the Youth of the Year program. She’s learned how to process all of these different social issues, which I think is going to be really important for her growth in college. So while I am thrilled about her earning this distinction, I am also happy about her using this program to continue to develop her voice and become such a great representative for San Francisco youth.”
Video and photos from the event will continue to be uploaded over the coming days, so be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to stay updated on all things BGCSF. Additionally, check out our Flickr account for more photos and videos from the Charles Schwab Youth of the Year Luncheon.
We wish Sabrina great success as she moves on to compete in the Northern California Youth of the Year competition. Join our newsletter mailing list to follow her on her journey.
Thank you again to those who attended and donated generously! We look forward to celebrating our 2020 Youth of the Year with you next year.