Salida High School senior Carlos Barrientos, 17, was named Boys & Girls Clubs of Chaffee County Youth of the Year at the organization’s annual dinner Thursday at Silver Cliff Ranch.
Barrientos is currently third in his class at SHS, plays drums for his Rok Skool band and SHS jazz band and is a member of the mountain biking team.
He has been a Boys & Girls Clubs member for several years.
Barrientos takes up the torch from last year’s Youth of the Year, Athena Kintgen.
Kintgen, now a University of Colorado at Colorado Springs freshman, went on to be named Boys & Girls Clubs Colorado Youth of the Year and Southwest Region Youth of the Year and represented the region in national competition in Washington, D.C.
Barrientos presented his Youth of the Year speech, which will be part of the competition moving forward in the Youth of the Year process.
Alvarez and Morgan also presented speeches they had written about their experiences with Boys & Girls Clubs.
Barrientos said the honor gives him an opportunity to give back to the community for all they have given him.
He said moving on to state level competition is scary, but he will handle it and hopes to have a lot of fun too.
To other Youth of the Year hopefuls he offers this advice: “Try to be a part of the community as best as you can. The community gives to you. It’s only fair to give back to them.”
Other youth honored at the event were Salida’s Junior Youth of the Year, Irene Alvarez, 13, and Buena Vista’s Youth of the Year, Catie Morgan, 13.
Youths of the Month for 2019 from both clubs also received recognition during the event.
Salida’s Junior Youths of the Month were Hunter Cornette, Evanlee Garcia, Maria Garbacz, Sydney Jackson, Kali Keast, Lillian Morrison, Ryus Mattix and Maksym Perry.
Youth of the Month were Kuper Banghart, Jamison Batinich, Maisy Haynes, Tristan Jackson, Sydney Johnson, Bella Kintgen and Nico Wilson.
Buena Vista’s Junior Youths of the Month were Cooper Cox, Abbagail Frazier, Casius Orlet, Trevor Pettus, Jaelyn Pratt, Logan Scott, Jirehmiah Trumble, Ashlyn Turner, Bailey Turner, Nathan Wells and Jacob Young.