Third row: Berenice Bonilla, NCLR Líderes Initiative Manager. Second row left to right: Veronica Costilla, Daisy
Garcia, Angel Estala, Aurora Diaz, Kassy Toledo, Adrian Munoz, Genaro Llave, Youth Leadership Committee.
Front row left to right: Amanda Croft and Susy Armendariz Sanchez Charter School Counselors.
Eight Sanchez Charter School students have embarked on a year-long quest to develop their leadership skills as members of the school’s Youth Leadership Committee.
The committee is part of the National Council of La Raza’s youth leadership program, Líderes Empowered, which equips and inspires young Latinos to become leaders and youth advocates in their communities.
The students recently hosted classmates from Sanchez along with students from Gateway Academy and Raul Yzaguirre School for Success at a Líderes Congreso on the University of Houston campus. The Youth Leadership Committee planned the program and theme for the event – Youth Leadership: Looking Ahead on Immigration and Education– after conducting a survey to determine what issues are most important to Latinos in Houston’s East End.
Loren Campos, Field Coordinator for United We DREAM and 2001 University of Texas graduate in civil engineering, spoke to students about staying focused on their dreams, no matter what challenges and obstacles they encounter.
"The breakout sessions were interesting. Every speaker we had was very in touch with what we wanted to hear--scholarships, Dream Act, Houston Police Department and college," said Daisy Garcia, freshman at Sanchez Charter School.
In addition to conducting the community survey and presenting the Líderes Congreso, the Youth Leadership Committee will participate in NCLR’s National Latino Advocacy Days and the Líderes Summit at the NCLR Annual Conference. Students also are working toward completion of 150 hours of community service. So far, they have volunteered for Sanchez Charter School’s Pre-K program and the Houston Food Bank.
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News coverage of the Líderes Congreso: