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Abraham I. Honored with A.C.E. Awards

May 21, 2018

Abraham I.’s path to beginning his freshman year at Fitchburg State University this fall has involved overcoming poverty, family upheaval and other challenges.

A BGCL youth member since age 9, Abraham has relied on the club to help provide him with stability, confidence and the tools to set and achieve academic goals. The 18-year-old gives back as a member of the Keystone Club, a leadership development group in which high school students perform community service within BGCL and the Greater Lawrence community.

In recognition of his outstanding attitude and academic commitment, Abraham was honored last month as winner of the A.C.E. (Accepting the Challenge of Excellence) Award from the Exchange Club of Lawrence. This month, he earned a $2,000 college scholarship as the regional winner of the competition. Abraham will now be considered for the national award, which will be presented along with a $10,000 college scholarship at the National Exchange Club Convention from July 11-14 in Reno, Nevada.

At BGCL, Abraham says his goal is to “make a difference for the young kids of Lawrence.” Through the Keystone Club, he helps serve supper to his fellow youth members, participates in fundraisers and runs Super Smash Bros. tournaments in the Clubhouse Network Computer Lab.

In fact, the graphic design, photo editing and other technical skills he has honed at the club have contributed to Abraham’s desire to major in video game design at Fitchburg State. Currently a senior at Greater Lawrence Technical School, he was part of the 10-person team that won the Judges’ Choice Award for the video “Here To Help” in the 2018 Global RE@CH Media Festival. In 2016, he was a regional winner in the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Digital Arts Festival in the graphic design and video categories.

While working on the video “Here To Help,” Abraham says he could relate personally to the theme of moving from negative to positive.

“My journey to this point in my life has been rocky, to say the least,” he says. “I will never forget those who helped me, and I will continue giving back for my whole life.”

“Our kids overcome odds and experiences that would mentally cripple most of us,” says BGCL Associate Director Steve Kelley. “This special recognition from the Exchange Club is a powerful example to all that hard work and perseverance really do pay off.”

Did You Know?

More than 600 Club members have attended or are attending private high schools on scholarship.