Denver high school student Alan Gamez loses 100 pounds, wins Mayor's Youth Award

Gamez conquered obesity and depression

DENVER - Denver high school senior Alan Gamez beat obesity by losing 100 pounds over the course of four years.

The Career Education Center (CEC) Middle College student is one of 30 students between ages 13 and 19 who will receive the Denver Mayor’s Youth Award for the 2012-2013 school year. The award will honor Gamez’s personal transformation and achievement.

In August 2009, the then-14-year-old boy weighed 270 pounds and struggled with depression. He was physically limited by his weight in sports and other activities, and his resulting unhappiness damaged his physical well-being.

After taking a fitness course at CEC, Gamez began applying what he learned to his daily life.

Over the course of four years, Gamez lost 100 pounds and improved his academic work, his self-esteem and his motivation, school officials said.

“To watch Alan make this transition, was absolutely remarkable and to see the change it made in his attitude toward his future was encouraging. His confidence soared. It was so complete and amazing—like day and night. He really showed his motivation,” said Gamez’s fitness teacher Bette Johnston.

Alan hopes to major in fitness training and nutrition in college and is applying to Colorado State University and the University of Northern Colorado.

“Losing the weight made me more confident, active and enjoy working out more,” Gamez said. “I’ve also gone to gyms and learned that the most successful people in fitness are the ones who can motivate others. I hope to help others now that I have learned to do it for myself.”

Along with the other winners, Gamez will be recognized at an April 17 banquet at the Denver Post Auditorium and will receive a $1,000 scholarship to the Community College of Denver.