The City of Santa Clarita's Anti-Gang Task Force honored 18 local youth during an SCV Teen Hero Recognition Ceremony at the Activities Center Monday.
“These young people here are heroes to all of us and will continue to be in the future,” said Santa Clarita Anti-Gang Task Force co-founder Maria Fulkerson.
Don't miss a thing. Get breaking news alerts delivered right to your inbox 
Each of the junior high and high school students were selected by their teachers, school administrators and community members for their leadership qualities and ability to overcome life challenges including illness, abuse, drug and alcohol addiction and divorce.
“Being selected as an SCV Teen Hero was the best thing that's ever happened in my life so far,” said SCV Teen Hero Jarad Almeida. “Unless you count getting two sodas for the price of one out of a vending machine.”
Almedia was selected as a Teen Hero by two of his Canyon High School teachers, Mary Purdy and Cheryl Hanks. He said he's honored to hold the title.
All 18 of the 2011-12 SCV Teen Heroes received a gift bag filled with gift certificates to several local restaurants and a ticket to Six Flags Magic Mountain.
The City’s Anti-Gang Task Force (AGTF) was founded in 1991 in efforts to end crime and gang violence in Santa Clarita through community partnerships and positive programs for teens and their parents.
The 2011-12 SCV Teen Heroes are:
Spencer Richman – Arroyo Seco Junior High School
Jorge Acosta – Bowman High School
Richard Brown III – Bowman High School
Devyn Bullock – Bowman High School
Guadalupe Camacho – Bowman High School
Ross Shields – Bowman High School
Jarad Almeida – Canyon High School
Balquess Obadi – Canyon High School
Cayla Bevan – Golden Valley High School
Hosbaldo Jaramillo – Hart High School
Rebecca Soloranzo – Hart High School
Joshua Garnica – Placerita Junior High School
Christian Abdelshahed – Rancho Pico Junior High School
Charles Melgar – Rio Norte Junior High School
Dorothy Clemena – Saugus High School
Rosa Monroy Carranza – Saugus High School
Paola Campos – Valencia High School
Melanie Jade Lico – Valencia High School