New York LDZ students learn to make change through governance
The New York LDZ program brought a true international group of more than 120 students to the University of Rochester this month, learning about public policy, with a specific focus on governance to bring it in line with the rest of the 2019 summer programs. Students from the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Panama joined students from the United States and Puerto Rico to go through the electoral and legislative process foundational to many NHIers.
“It was a joy to work again with the University of Rochester,” said Catalina Berry, Educational Director for the 2019 New York LDZ, reflecting on the week. “Being able to come back as an alumna, and share my alma mater with so many talented and inspiring young individuals, brings me great joy and hope for the future. As always, the hard work from the amazing staff and the long hours are worth it when the participants tell you how life-changing the experience was for them.”
For some students, the lessons were pragmatically rooted in trying to get legislation passed through both the Senate and House chambers — but had meaning beyond that.
“When you’re voting, you’re voting to make a change,” said Yared Pena from All Hallows High School in the Bronx, NY about the legislative process. “When you’re making change, it’s going to be very difficult. Not everyone’s going to agree, and most certainly, it’s going to be hard to get the Governor to agree with you.” He went on to note, in the process, “We have to try to get our opinions across. We want our opinions to become more: A reality.”
“What I have liked the most is that they give us so many challenges daily and we are under pressure and we have to work together to see how we can solve them,” observed Julia Calzada from Prepa Tecnologico de Monterrey, who served as Speaker of the House for the session.
“When they came to my school, I literally got goosebumps hearing about the opportunity,” said Karina del Mar from American Military Academy in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. “I thought it would be a great way to grow as a person — to meet new people, cultures and learn about myself and grow.”
In the end, one piece of legislation passed, titled, “Crear un app y la vez talleres impulsadas por el determinismo yunión Latina para reducir la basura” (“Create an app and simultaneous workshops, driven by determinism and Latina unity, to reduce waste”), introduced by Daniela Sanciprian and Renata Navarro, both from Escuela Sierra Nevada Interlomas in Cuidad de Mexico, and sponsored by Fernanda Carbo, also from Escuela Sierra Nevada Interlomas.
Elected officers at the 2019 New York LDZ included:
Governor: Jose Otero, All Hallows High School, Bronx, New York
Lieutenant Governor: Jamila Atif, Academy of Mount Saint Ursula, Bronx, New York
Speaker of the House: Julia Calzada, Prepa Tecnologico de Monterrey, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon
Chief Justice: Ana Goebel, Escuela Sierra Nevada Interlomas, Cuidad de Mexico
Justices: Jheremi Bautista, Instituto Politecnico Monsenor Juan Felix Pepen, Villa Hermosa, Dominican Republic; Joseph Miron, All Hallows High School, Bronx, New York; Josue Pacheco, CEM Luis Encarnación Nolasco, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Mark Glendelle Gengania, Uplift Summit International Prep, Arlington, Texas; Nicole Castro, John F. Kennedy the American School of Querétaro, Querétaro, Querétaro; Sierra van Wijk, Teaneck High School, Teaneck, New Jersey