35 Students Selected Nationwide Graduate From the UNM/LULAC National Leadership Program

LULAC seeks to create a permanent leadership academy at the UNM.

For more information contact:
Lizette Jenness Olmos, 202-833-6130 ext 16

Washington, DC - The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) in conjunction with the University of New Mexico graduated high school students from a summer youth leadership development program that is funded by the Department of Energy.

The students participated in training July 20th August 1, 2008 at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. The purpose of this program, which began last year, is to develop young Latino student leaders and prepare them for college. The Department of Energy granted $154,833 to continue the successful program for the next three years.

The theme this year’s program was “Can Latinos Afford to go Green?” Students were given the opportunity to learn leadership skills by educating themselves on environmental issues that impact the whole community. The program provided leadership training, tutorials, guidance, counseling and cultural/social enrichment activities.

“LULAC thanks the Department of Energy for making this national leadership program possible,” said LULAC National President Rosa Rosales. We congratulate all thirty-five students who graduated from this program. We are excited about the leadership academy and were impressed by the students’ presentations that we are going to start a campaign focused on saving the environment.”

Keynote speakers were Theresa Alvillar-Speake, Director, Office of Economic Impact and Diversity from the U.S. Department of Energy along with the LULAC National President Rosa Rosales, National Youth President Jessica Martinez and Dr. Eliseo Torres, Vice President for Student Affairs, UNM. Student speakers from the UNM included Ruben Gonzales, Karissa Vasquez, Steven Astorga and Xochitl Romero.

“The DOE/LULAC/UNM partnership represents one of the ways that DOE works in the communities where it has a presence,” said Theresa Alvillar-Speake, Director, Office of Economic Impact and Diversity from the U.S. Department of Energy. “This particular partnership focuses on developing DOE's future diverse workforce.”

“The University of New Mexico is one of the leading Hispanic institutions in the country and we are honored to hold the leadership conference in New Mexico where we will continue to see students from all over the country benefiting from this important program that develops future leaders,” said New Mexico State Director Pablo Martinez.

Other guests included the staff of Sen. Pete V. Domenici (R-NM), LULAC National Educational Service Centers (LNESC) Albuquerque Director John A. Moya, LULAC State Director of New Mexico Pablo Martinez, LULAC National Youth President Jessica Martinez and LULAC Program Manager and Policy Analyst Elizabeth Garcia.

“The partnership provides students an opportunity to continue their leadership skills and give back to the community,” said National Youth President Jessica Martinez. “Last year the focus was on immigration and this year the students made their presentations on the environment.”

LULAC wants to thank the support of the local councils, LNESC centers and parents for sponsoring the students’ attendance at the program.

2008 graduates:

Malleri Acevedo, Windsor, CT
Kimberly Alvarez, Dallas, TX
Tracy Aparicio, Dallas, TX
Irene Araiza, Kenosha, WI
Steven Astorga, Houston, TX
Margarita Barrón, Laredo, TX
Ashi Colina, Maywood, IL
Edgar Coronado, Tucson, AZ
Camila Cremata, Apollo Beach, FL
Omar Cruz, San Antonio, TX
Jason Delarosa, White Plains, NY
Desiree Frias, Bronx, NY
Jorge García, Albuquerque, NM
Eleno Garza, Corpus Christi, TX
Anali González, Albuquerque, NM
Jazmine González, Mundelein, NM
Ruben Gonzales, Gladstone, MO
Jhordan Granger, Albuquerque, NM
Christian López, Stockton, CA
Vicente Mares, San Antonio, TX
Salina McKinney-López, Crystal Lake, IL
Alexis Nuñez, Albuquerque, NM
Karyna Ramírez, Albuquerque, NM
Kimberly Romero, Albuquerque, NM
Xochitl Romero, Cicero, IL
Angelica Salinas, San Antonio, TX
Jennifer Schrock, Carlsbad, NM
Mikayla Soto, Carlsbad, NM
Solomón Soto, Carlsbad, NM
Mercedes Stone, Odessa-Gardendale, TX
Jessica Tena, Albuquerque, NM
Lizbeth Tenorio, Kenosha, WI
Ruben Terán, Sierra Vista, AZ
David Uranga, Odessa-Gardendale, TX
Karissa Vásquez, Albuquerque, NM

In its first year, 26 high school Latino high school sophomores and juniors from across the country with scholastic potential participated in the week-long training. This year, the number of students increased and next year will accommodate more students to attend.

The League of United Latin American Citizens advances the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, health and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating at more than 700 LULAC councils nationwide.

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