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Bowman student attends institute

Local senior takes part in Chicano/Latino Youth Leadership conference

Posted: September 1, 2009 6:59 p.m.
Updated: September 1, 2009 6:56 p.m.

Bowman teacher Jose Rosales, left, helps Dylan Calzada with the essay that gained him admission to the Chicano/Latino Youth Leadership Project's Annual Regional Institute held Aug. 28 to 30.

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

“This opportunity to attend a weekend on leadership at UCLA means so much to me,” Calzada said. “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,” Calzada said.

“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.”

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.

Calzada’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 said. “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 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.

Presentations from artists, entrepreneurs, legislators and educators rounded out the three-day institute.

Participants met with representatives from California colleges and universities and looked at postsecondary educational opportunities during college day.

Calzada hopes his accomplishment 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 said.

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