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Struggling to Success


“Boys & Girls Clubs of Garden Grove is great place to play sports, get better grades, and have fun.  I have a 4.0. My parents have seen a dramatic change with me in sports, school, and seeing a big change in how I see school. Before Boys & Girls Clubs at Doig, I had Fs’ and was failing,” said Carlos A., freshman in high school, “Now, I changed my grades and everything else.”

Entering his first year of high school as former BGCGG Youth of the Year, 4.0 GPA, and volleyball champion, it’s hard to believe that Carlos used to turn in incompletes for homework and bring home failing grades.  It’s even harder to believe that the athlete at one point didn’t even play sports.

“I remember last year I wasn’t really good. I promised myself this year that I would try really hard and do everything I can; my best with my grades and sports-just everything,” said Carlos.

In the 2011-2012 volleyball season, Doig’s team went all the way to playoffs and ended up as the season’s champions out of all the local junior high teams.  Carlos worked hard with his team throughout the season. The team underwent a lot of coaching changes but overcame all obstacles thrown at them, a strength Carlos is proud of.

“Making the volleyball championships was my favorite memory because my team stayed together after our first two coaches moved to different sites and left us.  Our last coach Adam stayed with us all the way so we stayed together, all of us stayed together, and played as a team.  We learned that if your team loses once, don’t expect to lose again.  Always expect more of yourself. Always try your hardest and never give up,” said the young athlete.

Before BGC, Carlos was never interested in volleyball.  He had no experience in the game and was never introduced to the sport until BGCGG.  Even then, he was hesitant to join BGC’s volleyball team. The once hesitant 8th grader turned into one of the volleyball team’s star players and now plans on trying out for his high school’s volleyball team. 

Sports have played an important role in Carlos’ growth as student, athlete, and as an individual mainly because of what he learned from his coaches and mentors, Edgar, Tito, and Adam.

“I’ve learned from my coaches and staff to stay positive.  Goal setting - I‘ve learned to set a goal and work towards achieving it. They taught me not to just set it and then forget about it. You have to set a goal, and follow through with it, complete it, and achieve it,” said Carlos.

The former Doig member enjoys having staff and mentors who are funny but can be strict, very strict. But, he admits that he wouldn’t have the staff any other way.

“Tito, Edgar, and Adam had a big impact on me. It’s good they are strict because you don’t want a staff or teacher to let you do whatever you want because you know they don’t care,” said Carlos. “With those three, they do care. They will discipline you and teach you that there are repercussions for bad decisions.”

Currently, everything is good in Carlos’ life.  He plans to continue on with school, Boys & Girls Clubs of Garden Grove, and work towards becoming a doctor, vet, or even work for the FBI. How does he plan on doing all this? Through goal setting, good grades, and continuing to try his best in all he does.

The high school freshman says, “Things I learned here at Boys & Girls Clubs of Garden Grove, I want to take with me throughout high school, and the rest of my life.”

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