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Boy of the Year (eBook)

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  • 172,879 Words
  • 390 Pages

Boy of the Year; Competing for a Dream, is a memoir about growing up. The place: a tough Mexican-American barrio in El Paso, Texas. The time: the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. The culture: deeply rooted in Mexico but the aspirations were decidedly American. The future, however, was bleak. Socio-economic and educational achievement of the barrio parents--almost all of whom were first generation Mexican immigrants—had been low and the prospects of improvement for their children were not much better. Then something extraordinary happened: a branch of the El Paso Boys’ Club was opened in the Paisano Projects in 1959. The author was one of the many boys who joined the Club with no more than an expectation of having a place to hang out after school. But in the course of the next 5 to 10 years, the Club caused the lives of an inordinately high number of boys to change dramatically for the better. The author expounds intimately from first-hand experience about why this transformation occurred. He writes in graphic detail about his own family and the hardships they suffered, his close friends, their families, the teachers and other mentors including staff members and volunteers at the Boys’ Club who guided them away from injudicious or foolish life-choices, the challenges, the adventures and the pleasures they experienced as they grew up and the institutions as well as the activities that helped him and his fellow Boys Clubbers mature and ultimately flourish. The author proposes that one of the main factors that brought about this unusual spurt of success stories in South El Paso was the annual nation-wide Boy of the Year competition sponsored by the Boys’ Clubs of America. This competition had been taking place for years and it sought to identify the outstanding member of the Boys’ Clubs of America from the entire country. Between 1961 and 1967, the El Paso Boys’ Club produced 2 Sectional, 7 Regional and 2 National Boys of the Year. He contends that this competition inspired not only the winners but an unusually high number of other boys to break out from the expected low pattern of success and to attain high educational and professional achievement in their lives.           

Boy of the Year; Competing for a Dream, is a memoir about growing up. The place: a tough Mexican-American barrio in El Paso, Texas. The time: the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. The culture: deeply rooted in Mexico but the aspirations were decidedly American. The future, however, was bleak. Socio-economic and educational achievement of the barrio parents--almost all of whom were first generation Mexican immigrants—had been low and the prospects of improvement for their children were not much better. Then something extraordinary happened: a branch of the El Paso Boys’ Club was opened in the Paisano Projects in 1959. The author was one of the many boys who joined the Club with no more than an expectation of having a place to hang out after school. But in the course of the next 5 to 10 years, the Club caused the lives of an inordinately high number of boys to change dramatically for the better. The author expounds intimately from first-hand experience about why this transformation occurred. He writes in graphic detail about his own family and the hardships they suffered, his close friends, their families, the teachers and other mentors including staff members and volunteers at the Boys’ Club who guided them away from injudicious or foolish life-choices, the challenges, the adventures and the pleasures they experienced as they grew up and the institutions as well as the activities that helped him and his fellow Boys Clubbers mature and ultimately flourish. The author proposes that one of the main factors that brought about this unusual spurt of success stories in South El Paso was the annual nation-wide Boy of the Year competition sponsored by the Boys’ Clubs of America. This competition had been taking place for years and it sought to identify the outstanding member of the Boys’ Clubs of America from the entire country. Between 1961 and 1967, the El Paso Boys’ Club produced 2 Sectional, 7 Regional and 2 National Boys of the Year. He contends that this competition inspired not only the winners but an unusually high number of other boys to break out from the expected low pattern of success and to attain high educational and professional achievement in their lives.           


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