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Mayor Daniel Rivera and Urales “DJ Buddha” Vargas Inducted Into BGCL Alumni Hall of Fame

November 19, 2015

Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera and music producer Urales "DJ Buddha" Vargas were inducted into the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence Alumni Hall of Fame on November 19.

The Alumni Hall of Fame was established to honor the personal and professional achievements of some of the Boys & Girls of Lawrence's notable alumni. This recognition inspires youth members who are striving to make their own mark in the community and beyond.

"We congratulate our two new inductees, Urales ‘DJ Buddha' Vargus and Daniel Rivera, who join the 67 previous members of our Alumni Hall of Fame," said Markus Fischer, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence. "What connects all of them is their impact in our community, their loyalty, and their continued commitment to our youth. We are proud of all of them, as they represent the best of what the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence stands for."

Vargas is a Lawrence native who exemplifies that drive and a strong dedication to one's passions are the keys to success. His exposure from his father to music at an early age led Vargas to pursue a career in the music industry. He has played a major role in the expansion of hip hop, soca, Latin pop/dance, R&B, and dancehall into the mainstream. He has produced pop and crossover hits for artists including Pitbull, Enrique Iglesias, Ne-Yo, Jennifer Lopez, Don Omar,, Chris Brown, Jason Derulo, AKON, Marc Anthony, Daddy Yankee, Machel Montano, Lil Jon, Shakira, and Afrojack.

In recent years, Vargas founded the BEYOND Scholarship Foundation, which helps Lawrence students achieve their maximum potential by providing financial assistance to those demonstrating a drive and passion for the arts, academics, athletics, music, and/or other interests. The fund also provides guidance and mentoring to help students achieve their dreams.

"The Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence became my second home from the day I joined. I headed there after school almost every day. Whether it was team games like basketball and dodgeball, or the swimming pool and the great wrestling room, to programs that taught me leadership skills and decision-making like Keystone and Torch Club, I received the tools that I still use today in my personal and professional life," Vargas said. "I look back and appreciate the assistance and support I received when I attended the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence and needed it most. This experience has ingrained in me the desire to give back as well, and is highly responsible for the BEYOND Scholarship Foundation that I created."

Rivera is the son of a single mother who emigrated to Lawrence from the Dominican Republic to earn a better life for her family by working in the local mills. Rivera, the middle boy of a family of four, graduated from the Lawrence Public Schools and the U.S. Army Military Police Academy before serving his country in Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an MBA from Suffolk University.

Prior to being elected mayor of Lawrence in November 2013, Rivera was a marketing manager in the private sector, economic development director for Congressman Marty Meehan, and manager of the Lawrence public housing project in which he grew up. In addition, he was vice president and city councilor at large for the Lawrence City Council and chair of its Budget and Finance Committee. Rivera's community involvement includes serving on the boards of the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence and Northern Essex Community College.

"The club is a place where any boy or girl, regardless of ethnic background, or what language their mother or father speaks, or how long they have been in this country, can find a safe place to grow, be challenged, and get moral support for whatever it is they want to be or do with their life," Rivera said. "Even a chubby kid from a three-decker on Elm Street (who probably had no business in the swimming pool) can be encouraged to learn how to swim and actually get a chance to compete on the club swim team, regardless of his results. The Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence means the world to me, and to the scores of boys and girls who have ever spent time there."

Did You Know?

The Alumni Association has donated over $6,000 to the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence since its establishment in 2002.