85°F
weather icon Clear

Ray to take leadership skills to next level

When it comes to taking an active role in getting the job done, there’s no doubt 16-year-old Alex Ray will be somewhere nearby.

The Boulder City resident, who will be a junior at Canyon Springs High School in North Las Vegas in the fall, is a born leader.

Enrolled at the magnet school’s leadership and law preparatory academy, Ray is a cadet master sergeant in the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps and held a leadership position in staff class last school year. He has participated in the last summer’s leadership school for the corps and will run the program in August as the cadet coordinator.

Most recently, he participated in June in the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership program at UNLV.

“It was a lot of fun,” Ray said of the three-day program that featured speakers, panel discussions and workshops.

HOBY was started in 1958 by actor Hugh O’Brian after he spent nine days with Dr. Albert Schweitzer at his clinic in rural Africa. Schweitzer stressed the importance of change and teaching young people to think for themselves, prompting O’Brian to start the leadership program. Its mission is to inspire and develop a global community of youth and volunteers to a life dedicated to leadership, service and innovation.

After completing HOBY in Las Vegas, Ray was invited to participate in the World Leadership Congress in Chicago, which will be July 19-26. More than 400 youths from around the world are expected.

Ray said he hasn’t registered for the conference yet because he must pay the fee at the same time. Participating in the leadership event will cost him approximately $2,500 and he has started a GoFundMe account to help offset the costs.

The program’s main goal — empower, lead, excel — inspired him. He said he hopes to get involved in human rights issues once he completes college and enact changes throughout the world.

In the near future, he said if he raises more money than he needs to attend the world conference, he would like to donate it to bring Camp Kesem to Nevada. The camp provides an outlet for children affected by a parent’s cancer.

Ray said he was pointed in the direction of leadership programs by friends and teachers, who noted his natural ability to lead others.

The part-time perfectionist said his take-charge attitude stems from wanting to ensure that things get done.

The son of Chris and Ellen Ray of Boulder City, he has been a resident of Boulder City for most of his life. Ray attended Mitchell and King elementary schools and Garrett Junior High.

He said he is fully committed to the leadership program, choosing to ride the bus for two hours each way every day to attend the magnet school. Although he said he should be keeping up with assignments during the long rides, he acknowledges sneaking in some much-needed sleep.

In the fall, he will take five or six Advanced Placement courses, in addition to continuing with AFJROTC.

“He is very dedicated, intelligent and done well in the corps,” said Col. Bruce Brown, senior instructor for AFJROTC program at Canyon Springs. “He is head and shoulders above his peers.”

Brown said Ray is one of the strongest male leaders in the corps and will serve as a squadron commander next school year, supervising about 80 cadets.

“He is well-organized and a good communicator,” Brown added.

When not focusing on his studies or AFJROTC duties, Ray volunteers at the Christian Center Church, where he has helped run audio-visual programs for about two years.

According to Christopher Borg, who heads the church’s audio-visual program, Ray is dedicated and a hard worker.

“He’s a helpful good citizen, an all-around good kid.”

Borg touted Ray’s willingness to help and learn as much as he could.

Anyone wishing to help sponsor Ray’s trip can visit www.gofundme.com.aeteb0 or contact him at Alex4achange@gmail.com.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Würst Festival brings food, fun downtown

Members of Boulder City Sunrise Rotary invite the community to join them for a day of food, fun and festivities at the 26th annual Würst Festival on Saturday in Bicentennial and Wilbur Square parks.

Thunderbirds amaze spectators with acrobatics

Many oldtimers fondly remember the comic book and television versions of “Superman,” and the astonishment of the anonymous characters when they saw something foreign flying overhead — “It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Superman!”

‘Xeric’ plants, trees require less water

Thanks for sending me pictures of your plants. Many homeowners don’t know the names of plants in their yards or landscapes. Most can look at a plant and know if it is a tree, shrub, or flower but not its name much less how often it should be watered and with how much.

Family tradition highlights importance of Constitution

For more than 10 years, the Mitchell-Stankovic family has created a display at the Boulder City Library to commemorate Constitution Week, which will be observed Sept. 17-23.

Weather, location affects fruit production

Q. I have a Washington navel orange and Flordaprince peach tree planted this spring that a local nursery claimed was eight to 10 years old. The peach tree produced lots of small fruit. The orange tree produced tons of flowers but fruit that dropped from it after it flowered. The trees don’t look so good now. Your opinion please?

Nevada’s Yesteryear: Mines spurred trains’ construction

Mining was the main reason Nevada was developed as a state, what with the very rich Comstock Lode at Virginia City and numerous other communities and camps such as Delamar and Pioche. Mining was equally important in California as well and had been since the gold rush there of 1849.

Monsoon season creates perfect conditions for flies

Anyone watching HBO’s sci-fi series “Westworld” must be particularly creeped out by our current fly infestation, especially since the show filmed on location at Hoover Dam and Black Canyon this year. For folks not hip to this dystopian neo-Western, flies represent, well, pretty much the end of mankind as we know it.

Aviation heroes land at Chautauqua

Boulder City Chautauqua will be soaring to new heights and “Pushing the Envelope” when it returns later this month for performances at the pavilion at Boulder Creek Golf Club.

Many work on your be-fun-half

With nice weather right around the corner, many nonprofit organizations are busy planning their fundraising events to help fund their annual programming. These events are dual-purpose. First, they provide needed revenue to the organization so they can continue to do great works for us in Boulder City, therefore adding to our quality of life. Second, special events draw guests from around Southern Nevada into our community and provide needed revenue to the businesses in our community. When the business core is healthy, we see benefits citywide.

Mural brightens King’s walls, tells city’s history

The halls of King Elementary School are now a lot more colorful as a new mural welcomes students and visitors through the office entrance. Done by Boulder City local artist Connie Burnett Ferraro, this mural shows the history of the community and Southern Nevada in general. Things such as the Hoover Dam, bighorn sheep and a TWA plane (which Ferraro says is her favorite) are all present.