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Hispanic and Latino students debate legislation during culminating trip to Albany

     Students in a program aimed at nurturing future Hispanic and Latino leaders took a recent trip to Albany to participate in a full mock Assembly that focused on actual legislation affecting their culture and communities.
     Eighteen students in the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Youth Leadership Institute made the culminating trip after attending five leadership training sessions, including a daylong training session at the Onondaga County Legislature. The program was hosted by the Mid-State Regional Bilingual Education Resource Network (RBERN) at OCM BOCES. Students also met with legislative leaders during their trip to Albany. 
     The delegates attending included: 
  • Binghamton High School - Edward José Marte Rosario
  • Hannibal High School - Kenisha Delgado
  • Ithaca High School - Anthony Henriquez, Ashley Kelsey, Gabrielle Duffett, Ilan Mizrachi, María Gil and Yashaly Acosta-Vazquez
  • Solvay High School - Aruasy Barrios, Karissa Benz and Ruth Rodriguez
  • Syracuse City - Ariadna Lopez and Gladis Ester Clavel (Corcoran High School)
  • Utica City - David Sisalima Torres, Genesis Almanzar, Itamar Almanzar Perez, Karla Garcia, Daileny Guerrero and Naysha Rios (Proctor High School)
     At the Albany conference, called the Angelo Del Toro Puerto Rican/Hispanic Youth Leadership Institute, students debated real legislation that focued on issues such as the Common Core education standards, bilingual education, use of force by law enforcement and post-secondary education for undocumented residents. They also met with state legislators, toured Capitol buildings and attended social events.

In the photos: First row, left: Ashley Kelsey of Ithaca poses in the legislative chambers in Albany. Middle: Students took their photos wih legislative leaders. Far right: Students attend the Onondaga County Legislature before traveling to Albany.

Second row, left: Onondaga County Legislature Chairman Ryan McMahon addresses the students, sharing the challenges of being in politics. Middle: Students take notes in the legislative chambers. Far right: State trainer Anthony J. Pionczysnki-Figueroa worked with students for an entire day in the Onondaga County legislative chambers, preparing them for Albany. Speaking to him is Tanya Rosado-Barringer, RBERN coordinator for BOCES.