A group of Amsterdam High School students participated in the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Youth Leadership Institute conference last weekend.
Astrid Ihvana Fuentes-Dimas, a senior at AHS, was chosen by the directors to have the honor of sitting in Angelo Santabarbara’s chair at the New York State Assembly. She was also asked to be the invocation speaker at Sunday’s conference gathering. Fuentes-Dimas was awarded the top scholarship for PR/HYLI based on the merits of her application essay, which was the only essay to receive a top score. During the conference Astrid wrote letters to immigrants who have been detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE, spearheaded by Carlos Espina, a Texas college student who has become a humanitarian working to raise the moral of ICE detainees.
Natalia Quinones, another AHS senior, also participated in the conference and was awarded a scholarship from PR/HYLI. Natalia worked on a mural featuring Latino leadership. Juniors, Cruz Rios and Alejandro Christopher, were also selected to attend the conference.
Other AHS PR/HYLI participants included Ashley Rivera and Divine Diplan. All six AHS participants attended weekly Saturday workshops during the months of January and February which focused on the qualities of effective leaders, the lives of Puerto Rican and Hispanic leaders, and legislation that impacts people in our country who have Hispanic heritage.
Conference participants also had the opportunity to speak with New York State Assemblymembers Patricia Fahy and Phil Steck to discuss current bills. The keynote speaker was Juana Bordes, author of The Power of Latino Leadership.