AHS students delegates at PR/HYLI, Moore awarded two scholarships

group of students with Paul Tonko
Left to right are AHS students Xavier Moore, Susana Gomez Aristizabal, Ferneidy Dotel and US Congressman Paul Tonka at the state Capitol building.

2023 PR/HYLI delegration

Five Amsterdam High School students were chosen to represent their school this year as delegates at the Angelo Del Toro Puerto Rican/Hispanic Youth Leadership Institute (PR/HYLI).

PR/HYLI is a program that prepares Hispanic students across New York state to become active participants in the NYS Assembly, for a day, where they debate and pass live bills. In addition, the students also engage in a series of trainings where they develop their critical thinking, writing, public speaking, and leadership skills.

The following AHS students were chosen to represent their school: seniors Ferneidy Dotel and Xavier Moore, junior Jann Garcia Cruz, and sophomores Susana Gomez Aristizabal and Esteisy Rodriguez Rivera.

This year approximately 200 students from seven delegations statewide took part in the 33rd annual Hispanic Youth Leadership Institute in Albany. The students participated in key activities which include team-building exercises to develop interregional relationships; a Mock Assembly session which is conducted in the NYS Assembly chamber; a student recognition dinner, where winners of the PR/HYLI scholarships and other awards are announced, and a series of culturally empowering workshops tied to this year’s theme: Defending our Democracy.

Eligible seniors who attended the Institute were encouraged to submit essays for the Angelo del Toro scholarship. With dozens of applications each year, only the best essays are awarded a monetary prize. AHS senior Xavier Moore was awarded a SOMOS scholarship in the amount of $1,400. Moore also won the Yesenia Valle scholarship, a special $250 award funded by the family of the late PR/HYLI trainer and Capital District RBERN specialist awarded to students who best emulate her commitment to the Hispanic community.

Furthermore, students from the Capital District Delegation were selected to represent their peers at the Board of Regents Meeting taking place March 13 in Albany to speak about their PRHYLI experience and give recommendations to the Board regarding their school(s) and community needs.

2023 is the second year offering students in PR/HYLI’s Capital District delegation HFMCC college credit for their participation in our weekly training and Institute. AHS student Susana Gomez Aristizabal is currently enrolled in the program which will earn her three credits toward a college degree. Congratulations to all of these outstanding AHS students.