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Bowman senior selected for Leadership Institute

Posted: August 31, 2009 10:31 p.m.
Updated: September 1, 2009 12:00 p.m.

Bowman teacher Jose Rosales (left) helps Dylan Calzada with the essay which gained him admission to this weekend's Institute.

Dylan Calzada, a senior at Bowman High School, is among 50 students in Los Angeles and Orange counties selected to take part in the Chicano/Latino Youth Leadership Project's Annual Regional Institute Aug. 28 to 30 at the University of California, Los Angeles.

The Chicano Latino Youth Leadership Project, Inc. (CLYLP) was organized in 1982 with the primary purpose of preparing students to participate in California's economic, social and political development. The CLYLP is guided by the overall theme "Future Leaders," and the leadership training emphasizes the importance of culture, community, college and careers.

Dylan's essay to apply for the Institute was a biography of his life, why he wanted to participate in this program, and his goals in life. "Before Bowman, I didn't have any goals for later in life," he explained. "Now I want to graduate, attend college, and am considering joining the Marines, specializing in mechanical engineering."

The Los Angeles Institute's program includes a variety of activities designed to strengthen leadership skills, civic participation and promote higher education. Participants will build public speaking skills during mock hearings, sharpen their analytical skills during discussions about current affairs, and improve their interpersonal skills during workshops on community organizing.

"This opportunity to attend a weekend on leadership at UCLA means so much to me," Dylan commented. "My friends in honors programs at other schools don't have this tremendous opportunity.

"My entire family is Latino, and to my grandma this means that I am doing something productive to promote my people," Dylan continued. "My grandparents came to the United States to find a better life for their children. This award means that my family has achieved my grandparents' purpose and dream."

Presentations from artists, entrepreneurs, legislators and educators will round out the three-day Institute with unique insights about their life experiences and how they found their career paths, while illustrating the value of higher education. Participants also meet with representatives from California colleges and universities and learn about postsecondary educational opportunities during college day.

Dylan plans to prove himself in the governmental process at this weekend Institute, an accomplishment that Dylan hopes will mean a lot to his father, who works for the City of Los Angeles.

"I am hoping to take this knowledge so that I can be a leader and hopefully later build a career around the experience," he concluded.


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