FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Boys & Girls Club in Central Fresno invited students from all over the county to participate in workshops on Tuesday.
It was the first event since 2019 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The hope is to inspire youth to make good choices and see what kind of opportunities are available.
"It's a good opportunity for most teens. I'm glad it's after Covid, so we can just come together," said 7th grader, Qui'ziya Hall.
She is just one of nearly two hundred in attendance at the Year of the Teen event. Signs of affirmation we're on full display at the Boys & Girls Club in Fresno on Tuesday.
"This is really a chance for empowerment. To know what opportunities are out there for college, other careers," said President & CEO of the Boys & Girls Club, Diane Carbray.
She said teens can participate in several different workshops: from Gang Prevention to Emotion & Self-Regulation classes to getting one-on-one time with guest speakers like Mayor Jerry Dyer.
Mayor Dyer said the Boys & Girls Club is vital for kids who don't have the right people in their life or might be feeling lost.
"My message is one of encouragement, that we care about them, and we want to see them be successful in life,"
2023 Youth of the Year recipient, Ramon Gonzalez, said the non-profit made a lasting impact on his life.
"The Boys & Girls Club taught me how to be myself," said Gonzalez.
He went through the competition and was chosen as the winner. Gonzalez said he saw it as an opportunity to be a leader in his community.
"The community I live in, isn't always the best at times. And just for me to be that person, speak up for the rest of the people that don't have a voice, it's really empowering," said Gonzalez.
The high school senior was accepted to several different state and UC's but is choosing to go to U-C Santa Barbara. He plans to come back and teach math in the community that supported him throughout his youth.
The Boys and Girls club is currently accepting applications for a scholarship.
For other ways on they give back to our community, click here.