By Ana Castillo Muñoz
“Every day, I arrive at the Club with enthusiasm and a smile. As a youth, I do have worries and problems. But I left them away because I want to pass my optimism on people”, says Larry Laracuente, Youth of the Year of our Club in Mayagüez.
In the Club, everyone knows Larry as the guy who always says yes to help others. “I learned to be more generous in the Club”, express the sportsman. That is the reason why Larry feel responsible of being his Club’s Youth of the Year.
“I will use this recognition to interact with my peers even more, to serve as a role model to them and to demonstrate that we can develop our full potential here at the Club and further in life”. He remembers growing up as a normal student who loved sports. But, it was until he entered Boys & Girls Club of Mayagüez that he could take his skills in basketball and runner to other level.
“As a leader and role model, I use sports to motivate children and teens. I remember one of my first mentors and role models, my physical education teacher William Sánchez, who died to cancer. He used to inspire and trigger me as a sportsman. At the same time, he acted kindly when I talked to him about life or needed some guide. I want to be like him through the eyes of people younger than me”.
While dealing with his teacher loss, the Club helped him to focus on his dream as an athlete and to continue working hard on his dreams. Also, he started to work as a volleyball referee in the Club. “Now, I think and act like a grown-up person. I set goals and I go for them as I use to do on the track and field. I hope that my talents in sports can help me to obtain a scholarship to get into college. I want to study criminology when I graduate of high school this year and continue being a role model for the youth from the Club, my community and Puerto Rico”, concludes Larry.