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Youth Legislative Session June 17-24

June 14, 2012

During the week of June 17, 150 high school sophomores and juniors will be on campus for the Lorenzo de Zavala Youth Legislative Session. The LDZ is the most recognized high school leadership program in the country and is sponsored by the National Hispanic Institute.

Within the first day, participants begin the process of creating their own government, voting for candidates who assume leadership roles in the new government.

Youth enter world of government

The young people who attend the National Hispanic Institute's Lorenzo de Zavala Youth Legislative Session at Colorado State hold the promise of being the future leadership of the 21st century Latino community.

High achieving Latino students will debate issues and experience the complex world of government when they participate in the 23rd annual Colorado LDZ, June 17-24.

They'll engage in a mock legislative process and judicial hearings that examine the assets of the Latino community and its trajectory.

Visions for the Latino community

Dialogue is the centerpiece of the LDZ experience, the basis for young people to share their innermost thoughts about their hopes and dreams for the Latino community, and the roles they expect to play as future leaders in shaping their world.

Building, caring for community

Students representing Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, the territory of Puerto Rico, Mexico and the Dominican Republic will attend.

The event gives high school sophomores and juniors a better understanding of community equity building and a chance to improve their skills in public speaking, organizational management and constituency building.

Alumnus recalls his experience

“The LDZ is a truly inspiring and thought-provoking experience that allows high school sophomores and juniors to engage in leadership and vision building in a way that most of us do not get to experience until we are much older,” said Jonathan Goode, program coordinator.

“As an alumnus of the program, I can personally attest to the difference it makes in the lives of young people and how it propels them to not only be good citizens, but also to actively shape the society that we live in.”

From convention to election

The week-long session features a general convention, speeches, legislative sessions, Supreme Court trials and committee hearings. Students will campaign for positions such as governor, lieutenant governor, speaker of the house, senator, attorney or one of nine Supreme Court justice positions.

Candidates will make speeches before the delegation and work to build their constituencies. Each student must develop proposals which harness the talents and abilities of their community. Students present and debate the merits of their proposals before their peers and strive to have their ideas passed into law.

Enhancing leadership abilities

Colorado State University and the National Hispanic Institute have co-hosted this event since 1990. To qualify, students must have a 3.2 grade-point average or above and must be enrolled in a college bound high school curriculum.

Ernesto Nieto, president of the National Hispanic Institute, founded the non-profit organization in 1979 as a way to encourage young Latino students to enhance their leadership abilities and actively participate in the Latino community.

Contact: Jonathan Goode
Phone: (970) 491-6454