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Saturday, May 28, 2016

Hispanic conference focused on youth

Monday, July 14, 2008

Claudia Zires and Athina Angel participate in the cross-examination portion of the National Hispanic Institute's Youth Leadership Conference held July 5-10 at DePauw University. The YLC seeks to provide educational opportunities for Latino high school freshmen from throughout the Midwest.
The National Hispanic Institute held its annual Midwest Youth Leadership Conference July 5 through 10 at DePauw University.

The 6-day conference involves promising Latino high school freshman from throughout the Midwest in debates and activities. According to Head Coach Marissa Guerra, the program seeks to set a stage for students' self-realization process through games and competitions.

"We believe this generation will shape society," Guerra said. "We help these kids to feel challenges and overcome setbacks to learn lessons for the future."

Students attending the conference must be in the top ten percent of their classes and be recommended by their teachers or administrators. Students participate in an intensive weeklong debate process with three parts: Extemporaneous speaking, cross-examination and oration.

Finalist in cross-examination Athina Angel said any Latinos with the opportunity to participate in the conference should choose to participate.

"It really taught me self-confidence," Angel said. "I also learned that I have to be firm in my opinions and be able to back them up with facts."

Students debated topics relevant to the Latino community such as images created by mainstream media, taking charitable contributions and women's roles.

Another debate finalist, Fernanda Tovar, said the students have bonded throughout the week.

"The first day, we all became like a family," Tovar said. "We study and prepare together and hang out in a different persons room every night."

According to Guerra, using facilities such as DePauw University aids children in their plans for the future.

"Through our partnerships with universities like this, we are able to expose kids to top-notch universities," Guerra said.

By debating topics relevant to the Latino community, Guerra said the program hopes to boost self-confidence in its students.

"We want kids to learn how to believe in their own answers to the tough issues," Guerra said.

The National Hispanic Institute strives to provide Latino families with options and experiences and American colleges and universities. The institute works nationally and internationally to accomplish its goal of creating educational opportunities for members of the Latino community.

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Dear "Trapper"

As a Hispanic-American and member of the National Hispanic Institute(NHI), I thought it was prudent that I respond quickly to your xenophobic and racist comment. I am a proud American citizen and have been a member of NHI for over 10 years. As you can see, I speak English quite fluently (I am a native English speaker and proficient Spanish speaker). Additionally, my family traces its roots back to the early 1800's in Northern New Mexico/Southern Colorado, which makes my family quite possibly more American than you.

My grandfathers, along with several other family members, have served this country in the Armed Services; two gave their lives in Vietnam.

I am not rattling off this list to justify or defend my own "American-ness," but, rather, to demonstrate your own ignorance about the Hispanic population of this great country. Your words of fear and hate directed towards a group of innocent young children are misplaced and foolish. If anything, your words simply call into question whether or not your own values and beliefs are truly American.


Nick Lopez

(there is my name for everyone to see)

-- Posted by Freeno on Tue, Jul 15, 2008, at 12:05 PM

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