The Club for Boys in Rapid City is proud to announce their Boy of the Year for 2020. The award recognizes an outstanding member of the club who demonstrates kindness, integrity, and exemplary behavior, and is a positive role model both at the club and in the community.
The Boy of the Year is the highest honor a boy at The Club for Boys in Rapid City can achieve. Staff chose candidates from a pool of 12 boys who were previously selected as a Boy of the Month. Staff at The Club for Boys then reach out to family, teachers, and community members who know the boy outside of the club. The club’s staff then choose the winner based on these recommendations. This year’s honoree has been a longtime member of the club who consistently embodies everything The Club for Boys strives to impart.
Meet the Boy of the Year
Kerth Francelizo has been coming to The Club for Boys since he was ten. He said the award was unexpected, but for those who know him, it’s well-deserved.
Kerth enjoys being around the younger boys and sets the example for them by building trust and relationships. “I used to babysit, so I got used to learning how to react to different kids and help keep them calm when they’re upset,” he says. His humble demeanor makes him approachable, and he’s always sharing the things that interest him; whether it’s anime, woodworking, playing his cello, or listening to music. He’s even brought in groceries and cooked fried rice for his friends at the Club.
Stephen Tafoya is the Older Boys Program Director at The Club for Boys and interacts with Kerth daily. In the three years that Stephen has worked with Kerth, he’s never had to ask for help; Kerth naturally finds ways he can assist. “He’s not just here to play,” Stephen says, “he helped us build some of the tools and resources we have for other boys to use. He uses the skills he has — like cooking for the other boys, and technical skills that came in handy for fixing RC cars and setting up our 3D printer — to help those around him.”
When it comes to plans for the future, Kerth says he wants to invest in the stock market. He says, “If I invest early on, it’ll have a chance to grow, and I’ll have plenty for retirement in the future.” He also hopes to import a Japanese-made car like a Supra Mark 4 or a Nissan Silvia S15. For now, though, he enjoys learning how to repair and maintain cars of all makes and models.
Luckily, with a little help from the Rapid City community, auto repair is a skill Kerth is already honing while at The Club for Boys. “Every Tuesday, I take Kerth and two other boys over to Shift Garage, where they get to learn auto skills, but also interact with the community. It’s a great way for him to learn some career skills, but also inspire the other boys and give back.” Stephen says.
While the Club has been a meaningful part of his childhood, Kerth says he hopes the legacy he leaves behind inspires the other boys. “Being a role model for the younger kids is important,” he says, “I didn’t always have a mentor when I was younger, so I try to be that for them.” Whatever the future holds for Kerth, it’s clear he’s on the path to accomplishing great things.
The Club for Boys is dedicated to providing positive experiences that develop self-esteem and character in a caring, safe, and fun environment for all boys.
WORDS: ASHLEY JOHNSON PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE CLUB FOR BOYS