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CHCI Hosts College Readiness Workshop at Mountain View College in Dallas

Actor Wilmer Valderrama, State Rep. Roberto Alonzo Inspire Local Students to Succeed

More than 130 Dallas area high school students heard from actor and role model Wilmer Valderrama, State Representative Roberto Alonzo, and other leaders as part of CHCI's college readiness program Ready to Lead


Dr. Wright Lassiter, Chancellor, Dallas County Community College District; Felix A. Zamora, President, Mountain View College; Wilmer Valderrama, Actor and R2L Spokesperson; Diana Flores, Board of Trustees, Dallas County Community College District; and Laura Sanford, President, AT&T Foundation at Dallas Ready to Lead on February 20, 2010.

(R2L) on Saturday, February 20, 2010, at Mountain View College. The students who attended represented local high schools from six different cities and three counties.

Working with CHCI Dallas alumni, students received training in college planning, financing a college education, and leadership development. Valderrama, the official spokesperson for Ready to Lead (R2L), and Laura Sanford, President of the AT&T Foundation, provided inspirational remarks during the keynote lunch, touching on their own life stories of achieving the American dream through hard work.

"All these kids need is an opportunity and someone to tell them that they can do it," said Valderrama. "I'm very proud to be a part of this program and have the ability to touch these young people directly to let them know that they have the talent and resources available to complete college and ultimately become our nation's future leaders."

"AT&T is proud to support the Ready to Lead program and its hands-on approach to ensuring that more Latinos graduate high school and college," said Sanford. "CHCI's comprehensive curriculum helps foster leadership and confidence in students and instills the belief that a college education is possible."

CHCI board member Minerva Rodriguez, founder of MRR & Associates, also attended and was impressed by the students' energy and eagerness to learn. "Dallas youth were fortunate to have CHCI's Ready to Lead (R2L) program to help them prepare in becoming tomorrow's leaders," she said.

Students also heard from local education leaders in Dallas, including Diana Flores, Board of Trustees, Dallas County Community College District; Dr. Wright Lassiter, Chancellor, Dallas County Community College District; and Felix A. Zamora, President, Mountain View College.

The goal of R2L is to help Latino high school students enter post-secondary education by motivating them to complete high school, empowering them to serve and lead in their communities, and instilling a belief that a college education is achievable.

With the support of AT&T Foundation, USA Funds, and State Farm Insurance Companies, R2L empowers Latino high school students to attend college and touches hundreds of students nationally each year. The program involves one-day workshops across the country in the most heavily populated Latino urban areas such as Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Phoenix, and San Antonio, and culminates with a Washington, D.C. two-day workshop during CHCI's Public Policy Conference each September.

About CHCI
CHCI is the premier Hispanic nonprofit and nonpartisan 501(c)(3) leadership development organization in the country that educates, empowers, and connects Latino youth by providing leadership development programs and educational services. CHCI directly impacts the lives of more than 1,700 students and young professionals each year through its fellowships, congressional internships, scholarships, Ready to Lead (R2L®) college readiness program, and R2L NextGen program. CHCI NextOpp is its latest resource allowing young Latinos to save, search and share life-changing opportunities for Latinos across the United States.

The CHCI Board of Directors is comprised of Hispanic members of Congress, nonprofit, union and corporate leaders. Visit www.chci.org, or join us on Facebook, Twitter , LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram.

Media Contact:
Scott Gunderson Rosa: (202) 548-5876