Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme

Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year is a leader with a heart

Posted in General Information by BGCOP Staff on June 3, 2009

For 16-year-old Richard Tribble, being named Youth of the Year by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme is an honor he never imagined he would achieve.
“It is very overwhelming because I made this incredible accomplishment, something I never even thought would happen,” said the Port Hueneme teen, who “went down the wrong road” due to peer pressure, causing the decline of his studies, grades and units.
But after he joined the club about two years ago, “the choice of graduating on time and improving my grades became my biggest goal,” he said. “This recognition makes me want to strive for more, to do better, plan for my future knowing I can do anything I put my mind to. I am proud of the accomplishments that I have achieved and plan to give back to my club and to my community.”
Tribble volunteers at the club several days a week as a participant in the leadership group called Keystone. A junior at Hueneme High School, he is on the cross-country team and the Link Crew, serving as a mentor to underclassmen.
And though he struggled early on in school, he is now on the path to graduate in 2010 and holds part-time jobs to contribute to his family’s expenses.
“The Boys & Girls Club has given me a positive place to be and that helps me a lot, because it is safe and I know I can receive help with any of my school projects,” said Tribble, who plans to pursue a college degree in either medical assisting, psychology, law or photography — which would make him the first person in his family to graduate from high school and go to college.
“The positive influence helps me make better decisions, and now I try to influence other teens to come to the club so that they can have the same experience.”
The Youth of the Year title — the highest honor a member can receive — recognizes outstanding contributions to a member’s family, school, community and Boys & Girls Club as well as personal challenges and obstacles overcome, said Tim Blaylock, chief professional officer of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme.
“Richard is a young person who has overcome significant challenges in his life,” Blaylock said. “He is now setting an example of leadership, character and positive work ethic for his peers and younger youth. We are all very proud of his accomplishments and have the highest expectations for his bright future.”
The teen is also a leader with a heart, and demonstrates those leadership skills in a variety of ways, Blaylock said.
“He sets a positive example every day for the younger kids, helping with homework leading a game or activity or helping in the computer lab or learning center. He volunteers at special events and community festivals,” Blaylock said.
“Richard is like a lot of kids,” he said. “He could have continued to go down the wrong road, but he made a decision, a choice to change, and make his family proud. I believe he has made them proud already and will be a leader that we will all hear about in the near future.”
The oldest of three children, Tribble lives with his mother and stepfather in Port Hueneme with sisters Emmie, 7, and Alexis, 2.
“Looking back at my past, I would have to say that the biggest struggle I faced was peer pressure, and I went down the wrong road. My school work suffered and I fell behind,” he said. “The staff encouraged me to keep going even with all the obstacles in my way. The staff is still encouraging me and I am grateful for that.”
Now as a mentor for younger members, he said, “it is a great thing to be helping kids go down the right road and showing them they have choices no matter what obstacles they have in front of them.”