The Biggest Winner!

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Each year 30 students throughout the city are chosen as winners of the Denver Mayor’s Youth Award. This award is presented to 13-19-year-olds who have overcome adversity and made positive choices in their lives; succeeding despite the odds. CEC is extremely proud that one of our own has not only made the list this year, but has show true motivation, dedication and maturity in taking charge of his life.

Continue on to read Alan’s nomination from his counselor Mary Abbott, which earned him this prestigious recognition.

Alan Gamez is a completely different young man than the one who first walked through the doors of CEC Middle College of Denver. Rewind time back to August 2009, Alan was a 270 pound 14-year-old freshman who was depressed most of the time. He had limited physical ability due to his weight and although he was on the North High School baseball team he got tired quickly and was rarely effective on the field. He was unhappy in all aspects of his life and he took it out on his physical wellbeing. Alan had no control over his life. Thankfully this is not the Alan Gamez of today…

CEC Middle College of Denver could not have been a better choice of school for Alan. Little did he know it would be as life changing as it has been. During his sophomore year, Alan took our Fitness Training/Human Performance class with Ms. Bette Johnston.  It was in this class he learned proper nutrition and how to correctly work out using weight rooms and exercise equipment.  This class had a profound impact on Alan.  He could have simply learned the material in order to pass the class like many students do, but Alan took it one step further, he internalized the curriculum and applied it to his life. He finally understood he didn’t have to be overweight, he learned that his weight affected his mood and his depression and he realized he had control over his life, not the other way around. He was ready to change his life…

Alan Gamez

Alan started to apply what he learned in Exercise Health and Wellness and began watching what he ate. So many students these days want instant gratification and results, but Alan had the patience and understanding knowing that his transformation was a process and would take time.  At first he started to have more energy, which led to him working out for more than a 2-minute walk on the treadmill.  As time went by the pounds dropped and he was less depressed.  Alan found himself making plays on the baseball field that he never could before, he could run for extended periods of time, lift heavier weights and more importantly he was no longer depressed, he was happy!  He loved his life and who he had become. Alan took charge of his life and today he is 100 pounds lighter than the depressed freshmen of 4 years ago. But Alan’s story doesn’t stop here…

Most students would brag about such a tremendous weight loss, use what happened to them for personal gains, but this isn’t Alan.  He understands the magnitude of his transformation, that many adults are unable to make this drastic of a lifestyle change.  Alan was able to do it with the knowledge gained from his class and the support of his teacher but he realizes many people do not have access to this.  He wants to be able to give this knowledge to his community.  He said there is nothing greater than to watch people transform and reach their goals, knowing that they have the power to change within them.  He has completed the Exercise Health and Wellness class (three semesters) and is currently interning at Fitness Together on 29th and Speer learning what it takes to be a personal trainer.  Alan is applying to Colorado State University and the University of Northern Colorado in hopes of majoring in fitness training and nutrition.  He wants to give back to his community, share his knowledge with others to help them transform and live healthier lives!  Alan is an amazing young man who has gone through a great transformation and who will make a difference in his community.


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