Local military “Youth of the Year” to embark on cultural educational expedition to China

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An 11th grade student at Port of Los Angeles High School in San Pedro, California, was named military “Youth of the Year” by The Boys & Girls Club at Fort MacArthur/Los Angeles Air Force Base’s Youth Program. Victor Ibarra, the son of Esther Dulaney, a youth activities recreation assistant with the 61st Force Support Squadron at Los Angeles AFB, is joining 22 other nominees June 27 on an all-expense paid trip to China for an international, cultural and educational expedition.

Ibarra’s journey is a part of the Los Angeles County Alliance for Boys & Girls Clubs taking the program to the next level.

 “This trip is paramount in changing the lives of the well-deserved nominees who I believe will build on this experience and, in turn, help their communities see beyond far beyond cultural integration and appreciation,” stated Mary Hewitt, executive director of the Los Angeles County Alliance for Boys & Girls Clubs.

“Schools don’t have the resources to maintain their art and gym classes, let alone send students on trips outside their community,” explained Hewitt. “These nominees are the best of the best. We are doing this to help students become global citizens, bring life to the subjects they learn in school, and expose them to new ideas and cultures.”

According to Sara Bragg, chief of Youth Programs for the 61st FSS at Los Angeles AFB, Boys & Girls Club members who earn the Youth of the Year title embody the values of leadership service, community service, academic excellence, and healthy lifestyles. “They exemplify the critical impact that Boys & Girls Clubs have on the lives of young people,” said Bragg.

The trip is being sponsored by the China Enterprise Council whose mission is promoting collaboration among Chinese and U.S. businesses, communities and stakeholders.

"This is the fifth year that CEC brings together Chinese companies to give back and support the communities where we live and work,” stated Sherman Zhang, chairman of the China Enterprise Council. “Children are the world's most valuable assets; we value the opportunity to provide them unique experiences on international culture and U.S. - China cross-border career insights, which we believe will be transformative and impactful.”