Robert Stern typically spends one or two evenings each week at the Camarillo Public Library tutoring other students.
It isn’t a paid gig and he could easily spend his time elsewhere, but the senior at Adolfo Camarillo High School said it’s something he enjoys doing. He usually assists fellow seniors taking lower level math courses.
“It’s very rewarding,” the 18-year-old said. “It makes me feel happy that I’m able to help and support other people.”
Neither his generosity nor his impressive resume has gone unnoticed.
Robert was recently named Youth of the Year by the Camarillo Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber will honor the teen and 11 other recipients at its annual Top 10 Community Awards dinner and ceremony at the Serra Center next month.
The event on March 4 is an opportunity to honor individuals, groups and businesses that have made a difference in the lives of others.
As its name suggests, the annual event originally honored 10 people, but the number of awards has since increased to 12.
A Chamber committee reviewed hundreds of recommendations before making its final selections in each category.
Robert said he’s honored to be recognized.
“I didn’t even know I was nominated until I received the call,” the teen said. “This (award) is definitely something I am proud of.”
The older brother of George, 16; Katie, 12; and Camille, 10, has many accomplishments.
Robert, who often goes by Bobby, is an active member of the associated student body and has served as his class president all four years of high school.
His duties this year include coordinating a wide range of fundraisers and events, including prom and graduation, with the help of other student office holders.
Robert recently helped put on a concert called Camchella to raise money for the senior class. The event brought in roughly $1,000.
The student, who was a defensive lineman on the football team during his freshman, sophomore and junior years, takes part in a wide range of extracurricular activities while maintaining a 4.3-plus grade point average. He is also a member of the National Honor Society.
Priscilla Partridge de Garcia, a clinical psychologist and therapist, said she nominated Robert for the honor because he is a “gentleman” and an “all-around good person” with strong leadership and interpersonal skills.
The Camarillo resident said she has known Robert since he was a little boy.
“His parents have really taught all of their children to be good people,” Partridge de Garcia said. “He has really taken on the family tradition of giving back.”
Robert, too, credited his parents, Bart and Heidi Stern, for teaching him the importance of serving others.
Bart Stern, the owner of Ventura
Investment Company for more than two decades, is a past president of the Camarillo Chamber of Commerce and Camarillo Rotary Club and has held a number of other positions within the community.
Heidi, a stay-at-home mom, is a member of the Meadowlark Service League and the National Charity League.
“My parents have always been really supportive of everything I do regarding volunteer work,” Robert said. “They’ve given me a lot of positive reinforcement.”
Upon graduation, Robert said, he plans to attend a four-year university where he’ll study business, finance and economics.
Although he doesn’t know what the future holds, the teen said, one thing is certain: He will continue to volunteer.
“I’m super excited,” he said, referring to the Youth of the Year distinction. “It wasn’t something I thought I was going to win, but I am honored to have it.”
The award winners will be honored at 6 p.m. Fri., March 4 at the Serra Center, 5205 Upland Road.
For tickets or for more information, go online t o www.camarillochamber.org or call (805) 484-4383.