Six area judges determined Jorge Ayon, an 18-year-old senior at Omaha South High School and 11-year member of the South Omaha Boys & Girls Club winner of the BGCM Youth of the Year Title, making Ayon the most distinguished among over 5,700 BGCM members in the metro Omaha area.
After the announcement, a teary and choked-up Ayon stood at the podium as Ivan Gilreath, President and CEO of the Boys & Girls Club, placed his hand on his back telling the young man to take his time. After a few minutes, Ayon spoke.
“My journey hasn’t been easy,” Ayon said. “Everything that I’ve learned is thanks to my family and the Club. Being here is an honor for me. This is something I will always have with me.”
In his speech, Ayon detailed his struggles with growing up in a single-parent household where he witnessed domestic violence and the stigma of being an undocumented immigrant. He also shared how one Club cook, lovingly nicknamed “Mrs. D” opened his world up to the world of cooking and service to others. Ayon’s victory caps off a series of major recent accomplishments, including winning the BGCM Stock Market Challenge’s $5000 scholarship with his teammates and becoming a US citizen.