West Valley Boys and Girls Club Great Futures Start Here

Employee of the Month
Christian Rodriguez

This month’s employee of the month is Christian Rodriguez, STEM tutor and Youth Development Professional. Christian has been working at the Club for more than a year and was previously a Club member, beginning during his freshman year in high school where he participated at the Canoga Park High School site.
Christian Rodriguez decided to join the Club because of his interest in tutoring students. Previously as a Club member and now a staff member, he has always loved what the Club does for its members. Christian is inspired by the Club’s willingness to assist students, and therefore wants to do the same to all his students. 
As a staff member, Christian has created a strong bond with all staff and considers it to be his favorite part about working at the Club. He sees that staff members have a passion for helping the Club members, just like he does.  Christian goes to work every day with the opportunity to change someone’s life and have a positive impact on the members.
“Students, the Club is here for you, embrace it because one day someone else will also need a shoulder to lean on and you will be that person to make a difference. Staff, keep doing what you’re doing because whatever it is, is working, and one day you will see the fruits of your efforts as you witness the amazing people the students have become,” expressed Christian Rodriguez.


Employee of the Month
Fatima Gutierrez

This month’s employee of the month is Fatima Gutierrez, the Site Coordinator at Blythe Elementary School. She began working at the Club three years ago where she   first started as the Life Skills Coordinator at Canoga Park High School and soon after moved to Blythe Elementary School.
Fatima is currently studying Child and Adolescent Development as an undergrad at California State University, Northridge. Fatima is very proud of being the first in her family to attend College. She feels extremely lucky to have the opportunity to obtain greater educational opportunities than do most people.
In addition to working at the Club, Fatima volunteers as an experienced listener at a crisis helpline. Her long-term goal is to become a child life specialist.
“I am proud to be part of the Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley and the culture that has helped foster our members to become great,” said Fatima.


Employee of the Month
Juan Olalde

Juan Olalde has been working at the Club for more than a year and is the Assistant Coordinator at Reseda Elementary School. Juan chose to work at the Club because he wanted to contribute to the great cause of offering a safe place for kids to take part in extracurricular activities and get help with homework.
Juan’s favorite thing about working at the Club is having the opportunity of working with the kids in a fun, safe, and comfortable environment. He believes the Boys & Girls Club is a place that truly guides and helps kids succeed in life. 
Aside from being the Assistant Coordinator, Juan is also a student at Pierce College majoring in history. He plans on becoming a high school teacher and, ultimately, teach at a college level.
“Working at the Club has inspired me to reach my goal in becoming a teacher or professor. Once that goal has been reached, I want to impact as many kids as possible to the best of my ability,” said Juan.


Employee of the Month
Jose Lopez

Jose Lopez, a staff member for two years, is part of the Club’s Canoga Park High School program and provides security for the kids. He’s honored to be working at the same location where he graduated. What Jose loves most about working at the Club is the opportunity to interact with the students and experience them grow and develop into mature teenagers.
Jose strongly believes the Club offers a great gift to all members by providing a place for them to participate in various activities and get tutoring assistance. He said, “I wish more students would take advantage of all the great opportunities the Club has to offer, such as having a safe place to spend quality time with friends before going home.”
When Jose is not working at the Club, he enjoys playing and watching sports such as basketball and baseball. He also enjoys traveling, hiking, fishing, and camping during the summer.


Employees of the Month
Cathy Mendoza and Briana Juarez

Cathy Mendoza is the Membership Coordinator at the Main Clubhouse while also a student at Moorpark College. She was once a member of the Club at the age of five, when it was located at Calvert Elementary School. Now 22 years old, Cathy has been part of the staff for eight years and considers everyone a part of her family.
Cathy chose to work at the Club because several staff mentors had encouraged her to apply her knowledge and maturity towards a job at the Club. Cathy credits the Club for molding her into a responsible young adult and allowing her to work during high school.
While working at the Club, Cathy has grown to love the relationships she’s built with various members, staff, and parents. She has created a strong relationship with one particular member, Devon Karley. As a new member of the Club, Devon failed to enjoy and understand the program. Both Cathy and her had their differences, which made it difficult for them to get along. However, as time went by, their bond grew and today they consider each other family. Cathy appreciates and enjoys the help that Devon provides to the Club.
"I love the club. Seeing youth like Devon Karley grow and become young adults and strive for new learning and success inspires everything I do as a staff. Just like the staff that did for me when I was a member."


Briana Juarez, 21, is the Assistant Coordinator at Canoga Park High School. Wanting to be part of a staff that greatly contributes to the community, Briana decided to join the Club five years ago as a tutor.
Aside from working at the Club, Briana attends California State University, Northridge and is majoring in Business Management with a minor in Fashion Merchandising.  She is an intern for a fashion stylist and hopes to one day work in the fashion industry.
Being the oldest amongst three siblings, Briana has always known the responsibility of being a great role model. Her favorite thing about working at the Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley is witnessing the end results of all the help and care she gives every student. Briana enjoys seeing how her efforts help members graduate and get ready for their future.  
Briana strongly believes, “no dream is too big if you're willing to work for it, and that is something I try to instill in the Club members I work with. I think the Boys and Girls Club opens kids' minds to their many possibilities and then gives them the tools to follow their dreams.”


Employee of the Month
Liliana Lozano

Liliana Lozano is the Club’s College Bound Director and has been a member of the staff for five years. Her involvement at the Club started as a tutor at Canoga Park High School, then was promoted to the Site Coordinator at Topeka Drive Elementary School, and finally having the honor to serve as the College Bound Director.
Born and raised in the West San Fernando Valley, Liliana is the oldest amongst her six siblings. She attended Santa Monica College and worked hard to transfer to her dream school, University of California, Los Angeles. She graduated from UCLA with a degree in English and Spanish Literature, and is now pursuing her Master’s Degree in Educational Counseling.
Liliana strongly believes in the importance of giving back to the community, which is the primary reason why she chose to work in the Club. Liliana thrillingly expressed, “I LOVE empowering our teens/youth with the knowledge they need to make the best choices for their future and enjoy being a positive role model and mentor in their lives!”
Every year during College Bound graduation, Liliana receives a profound sense of accomplishment knowing that the College Bound program has contributed to the student’s success. A famous quote that she lives by is from a powerful figure, Nelson Mandela, which reads, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”


Employee of the Month
William Cortave

William Cortave, 25, is the Youth Development Supervisor at Blythe Elementary School. William has been working for the Club for more than six years and also works as a behavior therapist for children with special needs. He is currently attending Pierce College in pursuit of becoming a third-grade elementary teacher. His interests include coaching and playing soccer, while also traveling overseas.

William chose to work at the Club because he wants to make a difference in a child’s life while being a big brother to them and a positive role model. William’s favorite thing about working at the Club is getting that heart warming feeling at the end of the day knowing he is helping change someone’s life.

“It is true what people say, our children today are our future, so I'm doing my best by mentoring them to stay positive and helping them make the right choices in their daily life. My favorite quote I live by at the Club is, ‘Coaching is the universal language of CHANGE and LEARNING!’ ”



Employee of the Month
Juan Carlos Diaz

Juan Carlos Diaz is the Site Coordinator at Reseda Elementary School. He began working at the Club in September of 2010 as the Youth Development Professional at Blythe Elementary School and then was transferred to Topeka Drive Elementary to assume the Assistant Coordinator position. 

Juan is from Guatemala and came to the San Fernando Valley when he was one-year-old. Juan enjoys helping the community in any way he can. He has received an award from Councilmember Tony Cardenas for his participation in community outreach in North Hills. “My parents always taught me that success comes when you have made a difference in life, not in what you have but by what you have done for others.”

Juan chose to work at the Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley to inspire and help those in need. “I don’t just want to be their coach, I want to be their mentor and help open up different opportunities for these kids.” 

Juan’s favorite thing about working at the Club is seeing how much Club members appreciate, have respect, and look up to the staff members. He also loves being able to provide them with a variety of programs that enable them to improve in every area of their lives. 

“This is more than a job to me, it’s a passion. It’s rewarding knowing that I have had the opportunity to make a difference in these kids outlook about education and life. Working for the Club has taught me that if your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then you are a leader.”

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