Amy Bianca Lara rings many bells in Fair Lawn High School. She is only 17 years old but has completed difficult tasks that many adults would not be able to handle. Amy registered herself at the Law and Public Safety Institute of Mahwah to complete an Emergency Medical Services class to certify herself as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). After a 3 month course and difficult EMT exam, she was certified in December 2007, making her the youngest EMT allowed in the state of New Jersey. She volunteers at her local ambulance corps for duty time and rides the ambulance providing medical services such as CPR, the Heimlich, and even uses an automated external defibrillator (AED) to revive patients. From car accidents to drug overdoses, Amy has endured real life situations and volunteers ten hours a week to aid in these emergencies.
Amy not only gives back to her community but also her high school. Amy founded Club Latino to motivate young Latino students to get involved with their community. The club signifies a correlation of Latino values and how Latinos can assimilate to the American culture without losing their roots. Club Latino is open to all students regardless of their ethnicity and together, Amy forms a diverse community within the high school itself. And they stay active! From bake sales to fund salsa lessons to donating over $100 dollars to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and many more activities.
Amy’s academic performance in advance placement courses are exceptional and she was inducted into the Hispanic Honor Society her junior year, tutoring students of all grades in Spanish. She is a first generation American with Bolivian roots and speaks Spanish fluently. Her father is a Bolivian immigrant from La Paz, who sends her regularly to Cochabamba, Bolivia to visit and study with her cousins at the Instituto Americano. She listens and learns from the students to improve her Spanish skills and even aids English teachers in speaking efficient English.
In addition to her tutoring, Amy is a peer educator for MySistahs. MySistahs is an organization for women of color interrelated with Advocates for Youth. After a highly selective interview process, she was flown out to Washington D.C to receive intensive peer educating training in how to respond and handle difficult situations. Amy receives e-mails from young girls’ world wide with questions concerning sexual education and reproductive health. Her bio is posted on www.mysistahs.org and she is available to listen to any situation and provide advice. It is Amy’s unique, creative, modest, and caring attitude that encourages girls across the nation to reach out to her.
However, Amy is no softy. She fights injustices in the United States by protesting at May Day rallies in New York City and immigrant protests for more rights. She believes in cold hard facts and unity to overcome dilemmas. Amy will continue volunteering, leading Club Latino, and fighting unfair stances in the war of immigration. It is her great enthusiasm and passion for Latinos and sisters everywhere that mold her into a motivated activist of her community. Amy’s dedication, commitment, and abundant service distinguish her as a CHCI Young Leader of Today.
Past Young Leaders of Today
Daniel Hernandez Jr.
Armando Raul Mendez
Higinio Turrubiates, Jr.
Ana Rosa Martinez
Eugenia (Gina) Murillo
Brenda Lizzet Lopez
Elena Carolina Svetlana Arciniega
Rene Octavio Valenzuela
Rosangela Serrano Morales
Isaac Guillermo Lara
Angie Lizeth Cruz