Local Girl Athena Kintgen up for Boys and Girls Clubs’ National “Youth of the Year” Award

Our very own Athena Kintgen is in Washington D.C. and will find out tonight if she is the Boys and Girls Clubs National “Youth of the Year”

Athnea has been in Washington for the past three days taking in the sights of our nation’s capital and taking part in the Youth of the Year activities.  She is one of six finalists for the prestigious award. 

Athena was named Chaffee County Youth of the Year back in February.  She went on the win the state title and the Southwest Region Youth of the Year.  

Growing up, Athena had difficulty hearing and, as a result, struggled in school and making friends.  After she moved to Colorado in the eighth grade, she was diagnosed with hearing loss and began to wear hearing aids.  It was at this time that she started going to the Chaffee County Boys and Girls Club.

Athena first became involved with the club through the Extaordinary Teen Council, where she found her passion for volunteer work.  She worked on several volunteer projects to bring awareness to the LGBTQ community and prevent drug and alcohol use among children and teens.  She also worked with disability centers and created a mental health voucher that is used throughout Colorado. 

Athena is dedicated to inclusivity and wants young people to step away from technology to focus on connecting with others face to face.  She teaches sign language class at her club and community sign language classes to adults on weekends. 

Athena graduated from Salida High School this past May and is currently a freshman at the University of Colorado and plans a career in social work.   

The ceremony to name the National Youth of the Year is Wednesday evening in Washington, D.C. 

Heart of the Rockies Radio joins everyone in the valley in wishing Athena GOOD LUCK!

Caleb Burggraaf

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