We want to congratulate four of Merced County's outstanding students who participated in the 2015 Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institutes Ready 2 Lead NextGen Program in Washington D.C. this summer! With the support of Le Grand Union High School District and Building Healthy Communities, Elizabeth Arellano of Livingston, Destiny Murillo of Le Grand, Ashli Quintela of Planada, and Kailani Sanchez of Merced joined two others to represent a remarkable group of Latino high school students from the Central Valley of California.
The program brought together over 70 Latino high school students from across the country for a week-long DC experience. During their visit they gained knowledge on how the federal government works and the importance of their role as active citizens. They met with key Latino leaders, visited the historic monuments and museums, and developed a connection with other like-minded young leaders who want to make a difference in their communities.
Many of the students noted that the program was a transformative and life changing experience.
"Because of my participation in the R2L NextGen program, I now believe in myself and plan to continue my education beyond high school,"
said Kailani Sanchez a senior at Merced High School.
To Ashli Quintela a junior at Le Grand High School the program provided a sense of empowerment and hope.
"The R2L NextGen program changed the way that I view politics...It helped me realize that even though we don't have a choice in where we came from, we have a choice in shaping our future."
Congratulations to Elizabeth, Destiny, Ashli, and Kailani on their successful trip, representing Merced County well, and demonstrating the power of future generations of Latino leaders in the Central Valley!