2 Latino Norwalk students to attend Youth Leadership Seminar in D.C.

NORWALK, Conn. – Two Norwalk Latino students have been chosen to attend the 2013 Washington Youth Leadership Seminar in October.

Valeria Rojo, a student at Norwalk High School, and Brien McMahon High’s Junior Sierra will take part in the event in Washington, D.C., after being nominated by LULAC Council 702 of the Child Guidance Center of Mid-Fairfield County and Council 703 of the South Norwalk Community Center. Rojo and Sierra are the only two students representing Connecticut, and two of only 50 students selected nationwide.

LULAC is the League of United Latin American Citizens, which “advances the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, health and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs,” according to a press release.

The seminar offers an opportunity for students to voice their opinions directly to national leaders and policymakers,” the release stated. “It challenges participating youth to focus on their own leadership development and encourages participants to apply these lessons back in their home communities. … Students work with LULAC leaders from across the country to develop a platform of initiatives that are of particular interest to Hispanic youth. After meeting with key policymakers in the field and discussing with think tank representatives, participants collaborate on a position piece, which is then sent to their congressional representatives.”

Students have focused on issues such as gun control, education, immigration, healthcare reform and the economy in past years, the release said.

“Valeria and Junior went through a grueling application process, but, based on their well-established reputations as youth leaders in the Norwalk community, their outstanding record of academic achievement and very impressive essays that they each composed regarding why they wanted to participate in WYLS, they were chosen,” said Linda Chave, acting secretary of the Center’s LULAC council, in the press release. “They are a credit the area’s Latino community, their schools and their communities as a whole.”

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