Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Minnesota Names 2020 Youth of the Year

Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Minnesota board and staff members invite the community to a reception honoring Abel Cordero as the 2020 Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Minnesota Youth of the Year. The reception will be from 4 – 5 p.m. on Friday, January 31, 2020 at the Eastside Boys & Girls Club (320 Raymond Avenue NE, St. Cloud).

When Abel Cordero was in fifth grade, his mother enrolled him at the Eastside Boys & Girls Club. Those first few days felt overwhelming to him, but, little did he know, his time at the Club would become his support system and second home. Abel developed some strong friendships at the Club that helped build his confidence and a sense of belonging amidst transition taking place elsewhere in his life. Over the past year, Abel has begun to pay his Club family forward by stepping up in servant leadership. He was instrumental in helping build out the garage for the construction trades program. He decorated and organized activities for the Halloween party, and he served as a co-emcee for the Youth Arts Initiative holiday showcase.

Through Boys & Girls Club programs like Career Launch and Junior Staff/Volunteer Career Development Program, Abel developed the skills he needed to get his first job at Target. Abel works there while juggling a full high school schedule and daily time at the Club. While Abel struggled in school in the past, he now realizes how important academic success is. He has improved his grades dramatically over the past year, and he is committed to graduating on time from Sauk Rapids High School in 2021 and getting his degree in criminal justice to become a police officer. Abel has raised his personal standards for success, thanks to the expectations his Club role models have set for him.

“The Club has helped me become the man I am today,” said Abel. “Without my Club family, I don’t know what I would have done.”

“Abel has experienced more transition in his young age than many of us have, and yet I have seen him grow and mature into a selfless leader,” said Eastside Unit Director Tony Bown. “Because Abel is getting the care he needs, he is now confident in his ability to support others. I look forward to watching Abel’s great future unfold.”


What’s Next for Abel Cordero?

As Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Minnesota’s 2020 Youth of the Year, Abel will go on to compete at the state level in the Twin Cities on March 16, 2020.

In recognition of Abel’s accomplishments as the 2020 Youth of the Year, he will receive a $2,000 scholarship from the Windfeldt family. He will also receive a scholarship through his participation in the state Youth of the Year competition. The Minnesota Youth of the Year will receive a $10,000 Home Team scholarship from the professional sports organizations in the state of Minnesota. State winners participate in Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s regional competition. Five regional winners receive a $5,000 scholarship and compete on the national level. The National Youth of the Year receives an additional $10,000 scholarship and is installed by the President of the United States.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Youth of the Year embodies the organization’s three priority outcome areas of leadership, character and service; academic excellence; and healthy lifestyles. The Youth of the Year is selected based on the following criteria: academic achievement; communication and relationship skills; leadership and teamwork; character, honesty and integrity. Local Clubs recognize Youths of the Month and select a Youth of the Year, who then participates in the state competition.

For more information on the important programs the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Minnesota provides, please visit our website: