The Daily Press' Rob Schwenker, president of the Kiwanis Club of Santa Monica; David Ramirez, Santa Monica Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year Award recipient; and Aaron Young, CEO of the club.

(photo by Fabian Lewkowicz)

LINCOLN BLVD — A true tale of perseverance came to life this past weekend as David Ramirez was named the 2011 “Youth of the Year” by the Santa Monica Boys & Girls Club at the 44th Annual Youth of the Year Awards Celebration and Banquet.

The 17-year-old senior proves to be a role model for his fellow teens who struggle with finding themselves as he recently overcame a number of challenges such as obesity, self-esteem issues and an absence of academic focus.

“David is a shining example of a young person who has made outstanding contributions to the club and his community and has overcome many obstacles,” Aaron Young, president and CEO of Santa Monica club.

With this title under his belt, Ramirez now is competing for the “Youth of the Year” title for Los Angeles County and the sky is the limit from there.

The five regional winners will then advance to Washington, D.C., with hopes of grasping the national title as well as a $50,000 scholarship and a visit to the Oval Office to shake hands with the president.

Aside from his achievements, Ramirez wants to set a good example for his younger sister and now looks to attend USC and one day become the CEO of his own Boys & Girls Club.

news@www.smdp.com

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