The annual Riverbank Youth of the Year award is sponsored each year by the Citizen Of The Year committee. The goal of the committee is to recognize the dedication and contributions of youth that have given selflessly of their time and talents to the Riverbank community. This recognition also comes with a monetary scholarship award.
The 2017 year scholarship application process changed from the previous years where the community – usually teachers, school counselors, family or friends – nominated the youth for the award. This year youth were given the opportunity to apply for this scholarship themselves. Most had accompanying letters of reference written by teachers or advisors. Six area youth are in the running this year; they are listed here in alphabetical order.
According to a teacher/advisor at Riverbank High School, Aguiniga “has demonstrated excellence in all that he puts his mind to,” and “is the perfect person to get a group project going, but he also knows how to sit back and let others take the lead.” He has been active in the campus Key Club, sponsored by Kiwanis, all four years at Riverbank High School. He has a love for learning and wants to study philosophy in order to become a lawyer.
Colon has “shown great leadership skills and makes a difference by helping people,” the nomination said. “She works well with others, working collaboratively, and manages stressful situations.”
She has been a conscientious community leader, with her involvement in Love Riverbank, the Youth League and the annual Earth Day events.
Howard has helped with an “E-hoops program, serving special needs children, teaching the skills of basketball, passing, dribbling and shooting,” her nomination said. She has worked as a lifeguard at the Riverbank Community Pool, and taught swimming lessons there. She plans on attending a four-year college to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology, then pursue a doctorate in physical therapy.
Iniguez has volunteered at the Riverbank Language Academy, helping first grade students. Her nomination also notes that she “has volunteered at the library, organizing books, reading to younger children, along with checking out books.” She has competed as a member of the Barracudas swim team and at the annual Run for the Cheese.
She plans to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences followed by a pursuit of a Masters in Medicine, then hopefully, a PhD. Her dream career would be to become a Neurological Surgeon.
Mireles learned a lot about community service by watching her mother in the PTA at Crossroads Elementary School when she was younger, she said, “seeing all the dedication and hard work put forth by the grown-ups and the wonderful outcomes it had for the kids.” She also has served as a Vacation Bible School helper at Shelter Cove Community Church and helps her mother in the nursery there.
“Biology is my chosen major because it holds limitless potential,” said Mireles, who plans to attend Boise State College.
Alondra V. Hernandez Zamora
For the past three years, nominee Zamora has helped with Run for the Cheese and the Cheese and Wine festival in Riverbank. She also volunteers with various youth organizations such as foster care and the youth soccer program, coaching with her father. She plans to pursue a degree in Psychology in college, then study orthopedics.
The Youth of the Year and Citizen of the Year selected for the top honors will be recognized at a dinner program on Saturday, March 10 at the Riverbank Community Center, 3600 Santa Fe, in downtown Riverbank. Citizen nominees, who were profiled in the Feb. 28 issue of The News, include: Richard Boos, Herbierto Carrillo Jr., Maria Garcia-Leon, Rich Holmer, Kerrie Webb and Lindy White.
Last year’s co-recipients Elias Cordova and Lana Clayton, joint 2016 Citizens of the Year, will serve as masters of ceremonies Tickets for the dinner are available at the door or from Citizen of the Year committee members.