In 2015, Brian Ariza walked through the doors of the A. Worley Brown Boys & Girls Club, which instantly became his home away from home. It didn’t take long for Brian to connect with staff and fellow Club members. He was encouraged to participate in different activities and explore his passions and interests. This second home provided a sense of community and encouragement during the time when Brian needed it most.
Brian said personal issues happening back home in South America caused him to carry a heavy load of self-doubt and discouragement. It was challenging working through those obstacles, but the mentors he found at his Club, like Mr. Bobby and Mr. Brendon, encouraged Brian to lean in and persevere no matter what. Brian said because of the support of his family and mentors, he overcame his internal struggles, and today he wants to encourage others to do the same.
Brian believes the people and experiences at his Club have helped him find his voice and boosted his self-confidence.
Brian is a proud member of the Keystone Club, which provides him with community service and leadership programs. Being a member of the CareerBound program has taught him a lot about preparing for life after high school by learning about the college application process, preparing for standardized tests, and exploring hands-on career experiences. Brian is also sharpening his public speaking and presentation skills as a member of Toastmasters. One of Brian’s favorite pastimes is mentoring younger Club members. Brian says the variety of experiences he’s exposed to at the Club have shaped him into the young leader he is today.
“I see it this way, teens are the next generation, and teens are the ones that are going to change our futures, so we have to prepare to lead in a major way.”
Brian says being selected for a summer internship at DPR Construction is one of his proudest accomplishments to date. As a project engineer intern, he was able to gain experience in a field similar to the one he wants to pursue after college.
After graduating from high school, Brian wants to attend Georgia Tech and major in aerospace engineering and become the first person in his family to graduate college.