Congratulations to YMCA Leader Zachory (Zak) Almeida who was awarded the prestigious Buddy Cup at the Northeast YMCA Leaders School, held at Springfield College this summer.
Zak was recognized for his leadership skills, character and mastery of teaching skills in YMCA programs, including mastery of being a positive role model of all to follow. The Buddy Cup has been granted only twice to a recipient from New Hampshire since the trophy’s inception in 1961. Zak graduated this year from Nashua North High School and will be heading to UMASS Dartmouth in September to study Accounting, with a minor in finance.
According to Joshua Schupack, one of the YMCA of Greater Nashua Leader’s Club advisors, “Zak has been a shining example of a well-rounded leader: Being involved in the Leaders program, a 2-season athlete, holding down a part time job, a family-centric individual, and a guiding light for our younger Leaders to look up to. In the Northeast Leaders Program, the Nashua YMCA has a strong reputation and that is due to Leaders like Zak. In a world where everyone is so negative about our youth and their potential, looking at Zak gives me a perspective of hope and promise for our future. For the Buddy Cup, he was an obvious choice.”
Zak joined the YMCA Leaders Club in the beginning of sixth grade. “The YMCA Leaders program is a huge piece of my life, and although I will not be a part of the program after I graduate this upcoming spring, I will continue to give bac and develop myself each and every day no matter what path life will take me on. It’s not what you do within Leaders, it’s what you take out of Leaders. The Leaders program focuses on Leadership and youth development, volunteering, and giving back to the community, in any shape or size. Volunteering has always been a passion of mine, and this program made my passion shine through. In Leaders, it is preferred that each leader volunteer at least two hours a week throughout the community. For me, that mark was too small. During middle school and a little bit into high school, I would come back to my elementary school to coach my old basketball team for about two days a week. Along with volunteering as a coach, it is a priority of mine to attend as many volunteering events for the Leaders group as possible – from handing out waters at breast cancer walks, to helping wrap Christmas presents at the YMCA. I do anything I can to give back to my community,” Zak noted.
About the Buddy Cup:
In 1961, the Silver Bay YMCA Boys Leaders school sponsored a Leaders’ Exchange program. Two young German leaders came to Silver Bay; and as a result of their experience at Leaders School, these two young leaders sponsored a cup known as the Buddy Cup. They sent this cup to the 1962 Leaders School, to be given in recognition of the outstanding leader in each Leaders School. This was a rotating cup, to be awarded each year. In 2017, it was awarded to Michael Costa from the YMCA of Greater Nashua’s Leader Club.
Stay up to date on what's happening in your community! Subscribe to our blog for events, announcements, and stories.