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Contact: Stephanie Rodriguez (646) 619-5192 Email: Somosconference2011@gmail.com FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 20, 2011
Somos El Futuro, Inc awards 20 Scholarships to NYS High School Seniors
New York, NY- Assemblyman Felix Ortiz (D-Brooklyn) announced today a new scholarship program for Hispanic high school students, that will promote youth participation in government and public service. The Puerto Rican/Hispanic Youth Leadership Institute is an innovative program sponsored by the NYS Senate/Assembly Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force in conjunction with the annual Somos El Futuro, conference of business, labor, and elected officials. The program, which this week selected 20 Hispanic high school students from New York State, will afford students the opportunity to work for a semester in the offices of state legislators to learn first hand how government works. “I am thrilled that Somos el Futuro is able to provide these and future students, the opportunity to know and understand how their government works in Albany and to seek public service as part of their careers,” stated Assemblyman Ortiz, Chairman of the NY Senate Assembly Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force. Each student who desired this scholarship had to meet certain requirements including an essay, a GPA of 3.0 and higher, and a letter of recommendation. Through these requirements, students who demonstrate leadership skills, aspirations, and self-empowerment were chosen. Somos El Futuro believes by awarding Hispanic students these scholarships it will empower and advance educational excellence and civic responsibility. The organization wants to assist students in following the footsteps of elected officials, joining them in the public policy making process to build the capacity of New York's Hispanic communities improving the quality of life
statewide. “These scholarships represent a core goal of the Somos organization and a reflection of our commitment to our youth made possible by our generous donors from business and labor. We look forward to doing more,” stated Antonio C. Martinez II, President of Somos el Futuro. This past April, Hispanic high school students joined together in Albany to participate in the annual Somos El Futuro Conference and the Angelo Del Toro Youth Leadership Institute Program. The program seeks to develop leadership and public speaking skills, gain knowledge of the states legislative process, and learn important issues Hispanics face in there communities today. The highlights of this year's program were the participation in a mock legislative session in the New York State Assembly chambers, where students debated actual bills reflecting issues in the community, a student recognition dinner where winners of the 20 scholarships were announced, and students met with members of the New York State Legislature, Assembly, Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force and New York State Education Department. Video of the proceedings is available at www.somosnewyork.org. “This program impacts lives. If we can change the life of one student it’s a step towards empowerment of our culture,” stated Lisette Lopez, Assistant Coordinator for PR/HYLI. One scholarship student stated, “This Institute has inspired me to think and decide that it can be done. I feel like the sky is the limit”. “In many ways, it's going to help in my future when I study law because I had a lot of opportunities to express what I have learned in my few academic years”, stated another student winner. ### Puerto Rican Youth Leadership Institute http://prhyli.org/, Somos el Futuro, Inc. http://somosnewyork.org New York State Senate Assembly Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force http://assembly.state.ny.us/comm/?sec=mem&id=67.