Roy Goyochea: No Limits

Roy Goyochea: No LimitsTeen turns his life around and spreads message of hope

To go from being in a gang to quoting Gandhi is a long road for most people, but it’s a path 17-year-old Roy Goyochea has walked and lived. One of his favorite quotes is by Gandhi: “Whatever you do in the present is going to affect the future.” Goyochea “gets it” in a way many teens might never understand.

His quiet confidence arrives in a room almost before he does. As he mentors other kids and coaches soccer at the Hilton Head Island Boys & Girls Club, it’s hard to imagine just how far he has come.

Goyochea says a turning point in his life led him to this place—not only a place where he’s positively influencing other kids, but also the opportunity to be the first in his family to attend college. He’s beaming after just returning from freshman orientation at Johnson & Wales in Miami, Fla., where he will pursue his major of hotel and restaurant management.

Goyochea has been working in the hospitality business since he was 15 years old and loving every minute of it. “I like interacting with guests—giving them great service,” he said. His sincerity rings true. When a supervisor once told him he wanted another worker just like him, Goyochea was more than happy to assist. He has a fraternal twin brother who also began working for the Crowne Plaza.

Goyochea attended the Boys & Girls Club as a young child ready to discover the world. The world he discovered, however, was one that would change his life. “I fell into the wrong crowd when I got older and joined a gang,” he said. Gangs on Hilton Head Island are a reality, and it was a classic case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time that was the turning point. He was present when a drug deal went bad and his friend got shot. The experience shook him so badly that, at age 15, he decided to turn his life around.

Roy GoyocheaHe speaks of the profound influence his mother had on his decision to make something more of himself. “I saw the look in her eyes after coming home again late one night and thought about how bad I felt and how tired I was of seeing my mom cry,” said Goyochea. “I knew I had to choose a different path.

Goyochea has a strong relationship with his mom who has worked incredibly hard—six and sometimes seven days a week to raise her family. “She’s proud of me,” said Goyochea. “There’s really nothing I wouldn’t do for her.” Goyochea credits the Boys & Girls Club, especially a favorite staff member, Mr. Monte, for leading him and mentoring him to become all that he can be, and now he’s returning the favor by mentoring others.

When you meet Goyochea, you have absolutely zero doubt that this is a young man who will meet just about any goal he sets for himself and positively influence others along the way. Terms like “no limits” are coined for kids like him.

 


In 2010, Goyochea was named Youth of the Year by the Hilton Head Boys & Girls Club and for the Lowcountry region; he went on to place third in the statewide competition.

In 2010, Goyochea was named Youth of the Year by the Hilton Head Boys & Girls Club and for the Lowcountry region; he went on to place third in the statewide competition.