Salesian Boys and Girls Club names awardees

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Nicolas Calderon is Youth of the Year. East Boston Foundation and East Boston Youth Basketball also recognized for their contributions to the local community.

Salesians 2024
State Representative Adrian Madaro, Youth of the Year awardee Nick Calderon and Mike Triant, Executive Director of the Salesian Boys & Girls Club

Meet Nicholas Calderon by way of his winning essays

[Editor’s note] Nick’s journey is a testament to the transformative power of the Salesian Boys & Girls Club. From being a Club kid for twelve years to becoming the athletic director this year, Nick’s story is one of perseverance and growth. Last week, he graduated from East Boston High School and will attend Suffolk University in the fall to study business law.

1) I am passionate about teaching about mental health in sports to young student athletes. I practice and advocate for group circle time and individual meetings. It is important to normalize conversations about mental health, taking care of your mind, body, and what you say and how you say things. 

Growing up as a student-athlete, mental health was not discussed as often as it should have been. I faced the silence at times, the negativity of others, the expectations of me bottled up, and the fear of not being good enough. 

As the athletic coordinator today, I try my best to encourage kids to try sports, whether they have played little or not at all. Sometimes, it takes one person to believe in you and push you to try. 

2) No matter where I am, I do my best to work hard and take advantage of the opportunities I have. In my first year of high school, I went to Brooke Charter High School, where the classes were very challenging for me. On top of the difficult classes, COVID affected my freshman year a lot because I only had online school. Starting high school online caused me to struggle academically because I needed help figuring out how to concentrate in class properly and finding solutions to problems. Brooke Charter High School also did not have football, which was difficult for me because sports are one of my greatest passions. Even though they did not have football, I did my best to work out at home to prepare for baseball season in the spring so I could take advantage of one of only two sports at Brooke. However, I was not satisfied with my experience at Brooke my freshman year and I really wanted to pursue my passion in football, so I made the decision to transfer to East Boston High School.

I took a risk transferring to East Boston High School and have tried to make the most of my high school experience. There were challenges because some of the students were not a good influence, and it took me a while to adjust to a new environment, especially because it was my first year going to high school in person. However, I have tried to surround myself with good people who encourage me to work hard. I also have improved my grades by going to teachers for extra work and asking for help when I need it. I made more time so I could do my homework at night and complete any missing work. When I transferred to a new school, my grades rapidly improved. My GPA from freshman year affected me because it lowered my average GPA, but when I transferred to a new school, I got better grades and learned more because I was more concentrated. 

When I transferred to this school, I really challenged myself and decided to take all the AP classes this school offers. I took AP English, AP Calculus, and AP Biology my 11th grade year. For AP Calculus, I was the only junior taking it as the rest of my class were seniors. I really loved AP Calculus because I love math. My whole family is very good at math and I genuinely enjoy solving problems and think it is one of my best strengths. For my 12th grade year, I am taking AP History and AP Computer Science and I am working hard to do well. Since I am interested in studying business, I have taken two dual enrollment college classes, Entrepreneurship and Introduction to Business, and I am excited to take two more dual enrollment classes next semester.

I have also worked hard to be a good Student Athlete in high school. It means a lot to me that I can play sports that were not in my other schools. I have stayed loyal to my commitment to play sports all 3 years at East Boston playing football, hockey and baseball. My experience in sports has been good because I have learned to be a leader for my teammates and make good connections with my coaches. Being an athlete can be difficult, but it is worth the work.

I am a hard worker and will bring this mindset to college. Even though I made a risky decision to transfer to a different school, I have done my best and that is all I can do. I will keep working hard and making the most of the opportunities I have no matter what happens in the future.

Other awards

COMMUNITY AWARD RECIPIENT – EAST BOSTON FOUNDATION, Lorene Schettino, Executive Director

This award recognizes the East Boston Foundation’s profound impact on our community through its generosity, support, and sincere care for the welfare of our club members and all East Boston’s youth.

The East Boston Foundation was formed in 1998 to administer a generous commitment from the Massachusetts Port Authority as part of community mitigation and to offset the impacts associated with The Logan modernization project. 

Salesians 2024
Salesians Community Award 2024 to the East Boston Foundation

DON BOSCO AWARD RECIPIENTS  – EAST BOSTON YOUTH BASKETBALL LEAGUE – Michael Gaeta League president

This award is presented in recognition and celebration of the East Boston Youth Basketball League’s dedication and the significant changes they make in the lives of young people, which resonates with his passion for helping the young.

The East Boston Youth Basketball League has been operating continuously since November of 1975. The first several seasons the league was run at the East Boston Social Centers locations in Central Square and Jefferies Point. In the fall of 1981 due to the growing number of participants we moved to our current location in the Marty Pino Center. We recently added the Paris St. Gym as an additional location. 

The league currently serves over 180 boys and girls ages 7 to 16 annually, participating in four separate divisions. Our motto is “everyone plays”. We are able to keep our fees very reasonable due to our partnerships with community centers and our generous sponsors like Carmella’s, Ruggerio Funeral, Joe Mario, Cora Electric, The East Boston Foundation, and John Flyer, to name a few. 

It has been very gratifying over the years to see so many of our program graduates become successful adults with families of their own. Many of our current participants are children of former players. We even have some grandchildren. Many of our players have gone on to have productive high school and college careers. In addition, we are very proud of our alumni that have gone on to coach local high school programs.  

The success of our program over the past 49 years is due to our tremendous group of volunteers. The majority of our coaches are alumni who carry on the lessons that they learned from their coaches. The most important being make sure the kids have fun.  

Finally, we would all like to acknowledge the tremendous work of Michael Gaeta, league president.

 

L-R: Linda DeMartinis, Sal DeMartinis, Nick Calderon, Diana Melgar, Stan DeMartinis, Anthony Holman, Mike Triant, & Adrian Madaro.

The Stanley DeMartinis, Sr. Scholarship Fund

Stanley Sr. was born in East Boston in 1944. He was the son of Italian immigrants who entered the country in New York City, from Naples, Italy, eventually settling down in East Boston, Massachusetts. The DeMartinis family started serving the East Boston community in the early 1900s with their family’s meat market at 645 Saratoga Street. Stanley Sr. learned early from his parents how important community was to their business. These early life experiences and lessons became the fabric of his interest in the restaurant business. Over the years, Stanley had multiple restaurants servicing the local communities. In 1993, Stanley Sr. opened the World Gym on McClellan Hwy, in East Boston, Massachusetts. The World Gym was converted to a Planet Fitness in 2007, where it still stands today as one of the first Planet Fitness locations in all of Massachusetts.

Throughout the years, the DeMartinis family has had a strong relationship with the Salesian Boys and Girls Club of East Boston. They have constantly donated gym memberships to the local community, helped finance summer camp programs, and hosted backpack drives that have supplied students with all of their school needs for several years. In October 2022, they built a brand new Mini-Judgement Free Zone, a fully equipped gym right inside the Salesian Brothers Boys and Girls Club. 

To honor their father, they have set up a scholarship fund for the Salesian Boys and Girls Club. The “Stanley DeMartinis, Sr. Scholarship Fund” is an annual grant to graduating members of the Salesian Boys and Girls Club, who will be continuing their education and embody Stanley Sr.’s values.