Meet Jesus Segovia, a senior at Luna Uplift Preparatory and a member of the East Dallas Boys & Girls Clubs. Jesus was recently named the BGCD Youth of the Year and will be competing for the State title tomorrow in a virtual competition. Get to know him!
Q: Congrats on being named Youth of the Year! How does it feel to be named BGCD YOY?
A: I’m really excited to represent Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas as the 2020 Youth of the Year. It’s an honor to be recognized, but I’m also proud to serve as a role model for other teens. I’ve overcome a lot and I want to share my story.
Q: What is your favorite program/activity to participate in at the Boys & Girls Club, and how has it prepared you for the future?
A: My favorite program has been Collegiate STEPs. Prior to getting involved in the program, I hadn’t given much thought to my future, and I didn’t value education as much as I do now. College wasn’t even in the cards for me. But getting involved during my freshman year really helped me aim for college to build a solid foundation.
My favorite activity to participate in at the Club is volunteering. Through tutoring younger kids, I discovered my passion for helping people. I’ve enjoyed it because it has allowed me to build long-lasting friendships and develop new skills, like public speaking.
Q: What college/university do you plan to attend and what are your future career goals?
A: In the fall of 2020, I plan to attend Saint John’s University and major in entrepreneurship. After graduation, l plan to come back to my community to uplift minorities and ensure forgotten low-income, at-risk children receive the additional help they need.
Can you name a role model in your life and a time you were a role model to someone else?
A: The Club staff and volunteers have been great role models because they helped me realize the importance of education. I was most impacted by the Collegiate STEPs program director, Carolyn Jordan, and my mentor, Brandi. It was because of them I didn’t give up, I tried harder, and I’ve been accepted to 7 colleges and universities so far!
I was able to help Abigail, a third-grader from the East Dallas Club. She once told me, “Jesus, I have these rashes, but I don’t take off my sweater because I don’t want people to make fun of me.” My mouth dropped because I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I remembered those exact same feelings of insecurity. My response was, “you’re perfect the way you are.” As I continued speaking she hugged me tightly. That was a great feeling.
Q: What words of advice would you give to fellow Club Kids (or your younger self)?
A: I would tell other Club kids to be confident and to just be yourself. Despite being born in this country, I did not start learning English until I was in middle school. Kids laughed at my Spanish accent and it was hard to catch up and fit in. I was a quiet child and I have ADHD and anxiety so I was an easy target for bullying and my self-esteem suffered.
But the Boys & Girls Club is my safe place. I was accepted with open arms and it was here that I found my purpose. I am now a stronger person. I want other kids just like me to know they can also benefit from BGCD.
Q: What are you most excited about the competition?
A: Well, because of COVID-19, the competition is now all virtual. I’m a little disappointed that I don’t get to go to Austin, but I’m excited about meeting the judges via video conference. It’ll definitely be a new experience, something I’ve never done before. Overall, I’m just glad to be representing BGCD as one of the top Club kids in the State.