Hispanic Teen Leaders Gain Political Experience at Colorado State University June 22-29

Note to Editors: Media are invited to attend any events during the week. Final general sessions will be 1-3 p.m. June 27 in the Lory Student Center. The final Supreme Court trial will take place at 8 p.m. June 27 in the LSC Senate Chambers. To set up interviews or for more information, contact Alvaro Maldonado at (970) 491-6311, or Ann Rovang at (970) 491-6432.

More than 150 Hispanic high-school students will meet at Colorado State University June 22-29 to debate the politics of government and life.

The Lorenzo de Zavala Youth Legislative Session is a program developed by the National Hispanic Institute that identifies Hispanic academic achievers and teaches them the concepts of empowerment and self-governance.

During the eight-day session, students participate in a mock state government complete with an elected governor, legislative branch and Supreme Court. Students run for office, develop resolutions and argue cases before their peers. The legislative model teaches the importance of communication and debate skills. The session culminates in final presentations June 27.

"While many of these top-notch students have indicated interest in opportunities at Colorado State, we ultimately hope to solidify their desire to continue their education and set goals for the future," said Mary Ontiveros, Colorado State’s director of admissions. "We are committed to them and to their continued success in higher education."

The LDZ program also features a private college fair during the week with representatives from more than 80 of the nation’s most prestigious universities. More than 99 percent of LDZ participants enroll in college.

"The LDZ program is a wonderful forum to create leaders for the future," said Alvaro Maldonado, assistant director of admissions at Colorado State. "The responsibility of presenting and legislating on different issues teaches young people how to persevere and succeed."

Close to 65 former LDZ participants are enrolled at Colorado State and remain active in the Colorado State University LDZ Alumni chapter, Maldonado said.

"Our commitment to young leaders doesn’t end at the end of the conference. The Colorado State NHI/CLN Affiliate Organization gives currently enrolled Colorado State students an opportunity to maintain these relationships and cultivate leadership skills."

The National Hispanic Institute created the LDZ program in 1982 to encourage high school students to get involved in politics and business. This is the eighth year Colorado State will host the program. For more information about this year’s LDZ program, contact Maldonado at (970) 491-6311.