TRACY, Calif. (KTXL) — They were forced to shut down in-person mentorship, but the COVID-19 pandemic did not stop the Boys and Girls Club in Tracy from serving 800 kids and their families.
In the spirit of Giving Tuesday, the club received some funding to help them help more kids in need.
The applause, happy kids and the check for $15,000 from Wayback Burgers were made possible because of Junior Cueva’s tireless dedication.
“Junior’s just gone above and beyond,” said Kelly Wilson, CEO of Tracy’s Boys and Girls Club. “He’s done whatever it takes and you know he never gives up.”
But Cueva says all his efforts in serving Tracy-area kids is only a reality because of the Boys and Girls Club.
“We’re a team. There’s no way I would be able to partner with seven different schools, reach 800 kids without all our staff,” Cueva said.
Cueva, the organization’s director of operations, said he moved to Tracy from the Bay Area when he was just a teenager. A little lost, he found his path by joining the Boys and Girls Club.
“Having a basketball gym to kind of entice me, to bring me in, but in the lifelong connections that you make with staff,” Cueva said.
Those connections, Cueva added, placed him to the journey he’s on now.
He’s been a staff member with the club since he was 18, and even when the pandemic forced to close their doors to in-person mentorship, they worked even harder in virtual spaces.
“Virtually, just being for them right after school. I mean a lot of our kids, they were OK with computers but not proficient,” Cueva said.
With this donation in his honor, the club can now fund more projects for the 800 kids they serve — kids who look up to Cueva, who will grow up and give back.
“I like him because he’s very cool, he’s always nice to everybody and he always cares for everybody, not just him,” said Milan Scott, a mentee from Tracy’s Boys and Girls. “I want to be a pediatrician and help kids because that’s what he’s doing right now, so I want to do the same thing as him.”
Cueva and the Boys and Girls staff have also helped to feed Tracy-area families during this pandemic.