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Recognizing Benjamin Curbelo: 2023-2024 Youth of the Year

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady is proud to introduce Benjamin Curbelo, the 2023-2024 Youth of the Year. Ben is a Freshman at Capital Region BOCES’ Maywood Academy and has been a member of the Adeline Wright Graham Clubhouse since 2020. Ben is open about the fact that in the recent past, he made choices that he regrets. However, through his involvement with the Club and its programs, Ben has seized every opportunity to better himself and transform into role model for others. His involvement with Career Club has been a launchpad for Ben to find his voice and capitalize on his strengths and interests.

Benjamin has been an active volunteer in the Goose Hill Neighborhood Organization since 2019. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Ben worked with other youth in the neighborhood to spearhead a grant application to build community around gaming for youth. While the effort was not funded, it speaks to Ben’s desire to create safe places for youth to connect with each other, especially while still reeling from the impacts of the pandemic’s isolation. He is still working with the association, participating in annual cleanup efforts, volunteering for events by assisting with setup, breakdown and managing recycling efforts—showing his care not only for the community, but also for the environment. 

In summer 2023, Ben worked with BGCS as a volunteer Counselor-in-Training. He used this experience to develop skills and new strengths in working with others, in finding patience in challenging situations, and in showcasing those character strengths that made him a great leader and role model for the young campers he worked with. Through his work with Career Club, Ben has had worksite opportunities where he is building his professional skillset and finding joy in service to others. Ben credits his experiences at BGCS with being a big part of the support that has allowed him the personal growth needed to overcome challenges and set his sights on the future. Ben is very interested in information technology and hopes to attend Union College after high school to major in it.


“The Boys and Girls Club has brought about a profound positive change in my mental, physical, and social well being. It has afforded me access to opportunities that allowed me to hone my skills and abilities. The Clubhouse has been an environment where I have built confidence that I can use to help empower others.”

-              Bejamin Curbelo


“Benjamin has consistently demonstrated being a servant leader, a great team player, and an effective communicator. In addition to these skills, Benjamin is someone who is quick to help others in need. When there is a way to assist a Boys & Girls Club staff member, Benjamin is quick to help.”

-              Dara OrederuWorkforce & Recruitment Coordinator, BGCS


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