Twenty-four Scholars Represent NFA at PR/HYLI

By Ms. Maria VannReyes

ALBANY – Twenty-four (24) NFA seniors & juniors participated in the annual Angelo del Toro’s Puerto Rican/Hispanic Youth Leadership Institute (PR/HYLI). This program’s main objective is to empower our Latino youth by teaching them to recognize that they have a voice. PR/HYLI strives to motivate students to become leaders who are passionate about helping their communities. Latino students gather from all over New York State in Albany to conduct a mock assembly, giving our students an opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned about the legislative process. Eight out of the twenty-four who participated were chosen to go to Albany. Wilman Horta Leal was elected Governor by his peers and gave an inspiring speech at the Institute in the NYS Assembly Chambers.

Students who traveled to Albany, representing Newburgh Free Academy were: Heily Concepción, Dulce Flores, Neftali Hidalgo, Wilman Horta Leal, Angie Ludena Carrasco, Sara Palencia Garzón, Jahaziel Ramírez, and Joamelys Rivera Class.

The Institute has the following goals for its student delegates:
– The development of leadership skills in Latino/Hispanic Youth;
– The creation of opportunities for Latino/Hispanic students to interact with positive role models such as Puerto Rican/Latino elected officials, educators, and business leaders;
– The creation of partnerships and conversations among educators, business leaders and students, and
– The development of an in-depth knowledge of the state legislative process.
The Puerto Rican/Hispanic Youth Leadership Institute consists of 3 main phases:
– Training in regional delegations: selected student delegates focus on identification and research of local issues, and study of the NYS legislative process, parliamentary procedure, and selected bills.
– Participation in the 3-day Institute: Approximately 200 students from 8 delegations statewide take part in key activities which include team-building exercises to develop inter-regional 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 career development workshops.
– Extension and refinement of leadership skills: back in their local communities, student delegates continue to develop leadership skills and put their skills “to practice.”

Wilman Horta Leal was elected Governor by his peers and gave an inspiring speech at the Institute in the NYS Assembly Chambers. Wilman is also part of the NFA AF-JROTC program and plans to study law in the future.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email