Three LDZ Week Concludes With Historic Linkup
Last week was incredibly eventful for the National Hispanic Institute, as it held three of its Lorenzo de Zavala Youth Legislative Sessions simultaneously, as the University of San Diego, Colorado State University, and Ciudad del Saber in Panama City all hosted programs.
But it was also historic, as for the first time in NHI history, two LDZs (California and Las Americas) connected via videolink, and leaders of each legislative session pledged to work together. As NHI’s Gabriela Morales described it, the chambers connected “regarding ways in which they could share resources, collaborate and support the development of the ideas each LDZ had discussed and adopted throughout the week.” She also noted, “An agreement was made between both LDZs to work with one another and share resources to accomplish the proposed ideas adopted at each LDZ and turn them in a reality in the communities represented.”
The LDZ Las Americas delegation passed four bills: Student Swap, written by Melanie Fernandez (Colegio San Agustin, Panama City), Andrea Iribarren (Colegio Real, Panama City), and Paula Palacios (Colegio Real, Panama City); How to Save a Life, written by Anna Isabel Valdéz (Colegio Brader, Panama City); Food for Thought, written by Giovanna Alfano (Colegio Brader, Panama City); and Green Growth, written by Alejandra de León (Colegio La Salle, Panama City).
The California LDZ passed a single bill from more than 250 submissions: Creating Leaders Using Leaders, written by Korbin San Miguel (Antonian High School, San Antonio). Victoria Holmes, reporting from San Diego, noted, “The discussions ranged from illegal immigration to community gardens. A lot of the students proposed health coverage reform for the United States and immigrants because apparently health coverage is literally nonexistent for a majority of immigrants.” The delegation also discussed a range of global political issues, including the U.S. presidential elections, the Brexit vote taking place in Britain during the session, and a number of issues specific to Mexico.”
The Colorado LDZ also passed just one bill from the many considered: “Expanding NHI to include sessions focused on medicine, engineering, and business management,” written by Cierra Ruybal (Pueblo Central HS, Pueblo, Colo.)
Dakota Daniels, a participant from Sierra High School, Colorado Springs, said of the program, “I didn’t believe [the staff] when [they] said we would become good friends is such a short time. But I do now. I have never felt so close to people in such a short amount of time.”
NHI continues with three programs this week: the Texas Star Great Debate at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, the National LDZ at Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, Ill., and the Northeast CWS at Cabrini College in Radnor, Penn.