& Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and Staples
Foundation, the private charitable arm of Staples, Inc., today
announced Shay Cardenas as the recipient of the second annual Torch
Bearer Award. The national award honors one Club professional who
provides exemplary leadership as an advisor for the Boys & Girls Clubs'
Torch Club, a character and leadership program for youth ages 11-13 that
helps them develop into productive, caring and responsible citizens.
Shay Cardenas is an advisor and education director for the Torch Club of
& Girls Club of Metro Denver Shopneck Branch in Brighton, Co.,
and serves as a mentor, helping pre-teen members plan and complete
community service projects and civic engagement activities. The Torch
Club program encourages positive self-esteem and personal growth; builds
communication skills; reinforces academic achievement; and encourages
the development of conscientious citizenship. Support from Staples
Foundation enables the BGCA to provide training, programming and support
of Torch Clubs to help meet the needs of pre-teens at a critical stage
in their development.
Out of more than 1,600 Torch Clubs worldwide, Cardenas is being
recognized for her dedication and commitment to the growth and
development of her Club's youth. Cardenas' accomplishments include:
Leading Torch Club members to win multiple national awards over the
years, including first-place in a national service competition called
Linking Hearts and Hands for a project called "Just Like Me: Let's Do
Something About It" that increased awareness and support for children
with down syndrome; the project received recognition in a
congratulatory article in USA Today
Receiving a merit award for "The Green Team Adventures" which included
a superhero video to teach kids how to be green in everyday life; and
a second-place education award for a "Math Friends" project which
reinforced basic math skills.
Consistently going above and beyond to teach good behavior by leading
by example, instilling values in Club members including respect,
positivity, honesty and doing the right thing.
Acting as a role model for Club youth, demonstrating humility,
responsibility, dedication, creativity and the value of simply helping
Consistently reinforcing the importance of education by personally
instructing diversity and health classes, tutoring youth and always
striving to make a difference by assisting those struggling
"We're so proud to honor Shay with the second annual Torch Bearer award
for her commitment to serving as a positive role model to hundreds of
local young people," said Kelvin Davis, senior director of character and
citizenship for BGCA. "While providing educational and
character-building opportunities, she holds her Club members to high
standards while creating fun, memorable activities that teach life
lessons, making the Torch Club experience one that these young people
will carry with them throughout their lives."
Nihal Turgut, General Manager of Staples in San Diego, presented
Cardenas with the national award, which included a $5,000 prize to
benefit her as well as her Boys & Girls Club and Torch Club, at the 106th
annual BGCA National Conference in San Diego on May 3.
"As a national supporter of Torch Clubs for 10 years, Staples is honored
to recognize Shay for all her accomplishments and dedication to making a
positive impact in the lives of today's youth," said Emily McCann,
manager of community relations for Staples, Inc. "Torch Clubs help youth
build character and leadership skills and at the heart of every Torch
Club member is an advisor that helps them realize their full potential.
Shay encourages and inspires her members to work toward a brighter, more
promising future, and emulates all of the positive qualities that Torch
About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has
enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as
productive, caring, responsible citizens.
Today, nearly 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs serve some 4 million children and
teens through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located
in cities, towns, public housing and on Native American lands throughout
the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth
Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. Clubs provide a safe
place, caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth
development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours.
Priority programs emphasize academic success, good character and
citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57
percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are
located in Atlanta. Learn more at bgca.org/facebook and bgca.org/twitter.
About Staples Community and Giving
Staples contributes to educational and youth-oriented community efforts,
from literacy and mentoring to career skills development, through
in-kind and monetary donations and grants from Staples Foundation, the
private charitable arm of Staples, Inc. Through its community and giving
efforts, Staples and Staples Foundation have helped more than 6,000
organizations in 2,000 communities across 27 countries. Community and
Giving is also an integral component of Staples Soul, which recognizes
the connection between long-term business success and the impact Staples
has on associates, communities and the planet. For more information,
For Staples Foundation
Emily McCann, 508-253-0203
Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Nicole Sutton, 404-487-5962