The Boys & Girls Clubs of Carlsbad (BGCC) recently named Maria De La Mora as its Youth of the Year, awarding her a $10,000 college scholarship. Polina Post was named runner-up, receiving a $1,500 scholarship for higher education purposes. Both scholarships are the result of the generosity of Julie and Matt Harelson and Keith Blackburn.

A junior at Carlsbad High School, Maria moved to California from Mexico and joined BGCC in 2009. Although she didn’t speak English, Maria gained the courage and skills to communicate with the help of BGCC. “At the Club I learned to be a good leader,” said Maria. “I discovered my passions, and overcame my fears.”

Maria currently organizes activities for young members of BGCC, volunteers at the San Diego Humane Society, and is involved with her church. She will go on to compete for San Diego County Youth of the Year. She hopes to attend UCLA and major in psychology.

To learn more about BGCC visit