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200 Students Join CHCI for Ready to Lead D.C. 2012

Students representing ten high schools from Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. attended the Ready to Lead (R2L) event during CHCI’s 2012 Public Policy Conference at the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center on Tuesday, September 11, 2012. Nearly 200 students joined us for R2L D.C. to receive intensive college-going training, mentorship, and the motivation needed to successfully complete high school and obtain a postsecondary education.

Participants received in-depth training in three key areas necessary for college preparation: College Planning, Financial Planning, and Leadership Development. Presenters included Amilcar Guzman, CHCI alumnus and National and Federal Policy Initiatives Associate at the Data Quality Campaign, who challenged students to discover their inner leader. Omar Estrada Torres, CHCI alumnus and Associate Dean of Students at The Catholic University of America, guided students through the college process. Ariel Cisneros from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City shared with students the many ways to become financially savvy in a time of rising tuition rates and a recovering economy.

Student participants also got the opportunity to interact with Latino leaders from the D.C. community during the Mentoring Power Hour. Almost 50 area professionals and college students from diverse fields and backgrounds shared their own personal success stories with students and offered conventional wisdom about why pursuing a higher education is important. Mentors were able to offer guidance and charged students with the responsibility of filling the leadership gap within the Latino community. At the same time, students were able to find many correlations between their own upbringings and backgrounds and that of their mentors. Mentors represented a variety of distinguished organizations and cut across all sectors, including: AT&T HACEMOS, the Federal Reserve Bank system, General Mills, League of United Latin American Citizens, National Council of La Raza, the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Department of The Interior.

After lunch, students were treated to a special viewing of the documentary film Inocente, a story of a young, undocumented, homeless teenage girl struggling to survive as an artist in San Diego, California. The screening touched many students and left them personally moved. Students were able to further inquire about the making of the film during a question and answer session facilitated by Viacom’s Reynaldo Casas and Wendy Perez from Tr3s. The event closed with a powerful address from motivational speaker and CHCI alumnus Raul Magdaleno. CHCI is proud to have offered yet another successful R2L event in D.C. and hopes to continue to educate, motivate, and empower Latino youth in the area.

For more information on Ready to Lead, please visit: www.chci.org/ready_to_lead

To view the R2L D.C. 2012 photo gallery, Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/CHCIR2L