ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and Staples Foundation, the private charitable arm of Staples, Inc., today announced Shay Cardenas as the recipient of the second annual Torch Bearer Award. The national award honors one Club professional who provides exemplary leadership as an advisor for the Boys & Girls Clubs’ Torch Club, a character and leadership program for youth ages 11-13 that helps them develop into productive, caring and responsible citizens.
Shay Cardenas is an advisor and education director for the Torch Club of the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Denver Shopneck Branch in Brighton, Co., and serves as a mentor, helping pre-teen members plan and complete community service projects and civic engagement activities. The Torch Club program encourages positive self-esteem and personal growth; builds communication skills; reinforces academic achievement; and encourages the development of conscientious citizenship. Support from Staples Foundation enables the BGCA to provide training, programming and support of Torch Clubs to help meet the needs of pre-teens at a critical stage in their development.
Out of more than 1,600 Torch Clubs worldwide, Cardenas is being recognized for her dedication and commitment to the growth and development of her Club’s youth. Cardenas’ accomplishments include:
“We’re so proud to honor Shay with the second annual Torch Bearer award for her commitment to serving as a positive role model to hundreds of local young people,” said Kelvin Davis, senior director of character and citizenship for BGCA. “While providing educational and character-building opportunities, she holds her Club members to high standards while creating fun, memorable activities that teach life lessons, making the Torch Club experience one that these young people will carry with them throughout their lives.”
Nihal Turgut, General Manager of Staples in San Diego, presented Cardenas with the national award, which included a $5,000 prize to benefit her as well as her Boys & Girls Club and Torch Club, at the 106th annual BGCA National Conference in San Diego on May 3.
“As a national supporter of Torch Clubs for 10 years, Staples is honored to recognize Shay for all her accomplishments and dedication to making a positive impact in the lives of today’s youth,” said Emily McCann, manager of community relations for Staples, Inc. “Torch Clubs help youth build character and leadership skills and at the heart of every Torch Club member is an advisor that helps them realize their full potential. Shay encourages and inspires her members to work toward a brighter, more promising future, and emulates all of the positive qualities that Torch Clubs represent.”
About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, nearly 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs serve some 4 million children and teens through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native American lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. Clubs provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Priority programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at bgca.org/facebook and bgca.org/twitter.
About Staples Community and Giving
Staples contributes to educational and youth-oriented community efforts, from literacy and mentoring to career skills development, through in-kind and monetary donations and grants from Staples Foundation, the private charitable arm of Staples, Inc. Through its community and giving efforts, Staples and Staples Foundation have helped more than 6,000 organizations in 2,000 communities across 27 countries. Community and Giving is also an integral component of Staples Soul, which recognizes the connection between long-term business success and the impact Staples has on associates, communities and the planet. For more information, visit www.staples.com/community.