February 2015 Junior Alumnus of the Month
CHCI Program: R2L NextGen 2014
School: Sierra Linda High School
Hometown: Phoenix, AZ
Sierra Linda High School senior Hugo Bernal is on a mission to inspire others by being a positive role model. Last summer, Hugo was selected to participate in CHCI’s R2L NextGen program for high school students; a program that has had a lasting effect on his desire to be a leader.
Hugo is currently the Vice President of his senior class; lead organizer for Junior Leadership, a conference for Arizona middle school students; and on the search committee to help his graduating class find the perfect keynote speaker for the commencement ceremony in May.
Inspired by his visit to Washington, D.C. during CHCI’s R2L NextGen program last summer, Hugo felt more than ever that he needed to reach for the stars. So he invited the President of the United States, President Barack Obama, to be his graduation speaker.
Since mailing a heartfelt request letter to the White House in January, Hugo has started an online social media campaign. Using the hash tag #obamaslhs2015graduation through the Facebook and Instagram, he has over 300 supporters who are reposting his request for a response from the White House.
R2L NextGen inspired Hugo. “I want to do more, dream bigger and help my peers see that they can do more too,” shared the enthusiastic leader. By actively sharing his CHCI experience with high school and middle school students across Phoenix, Hugo is helping others see that they can dream big too.
Hugo has big aspirations for his educational future. When he graduates from high school this spring, he will also have earned enough credits for an associate’s degree from South Mountain Community College. As the youngest of three children, he will be the first in his family to attend college. This is a source of pride for Hugo and his family. “I want to make my parents proud and help them see that their effort has paid off,” shared Hugo.
Hugo is currently waiting to hear back from colleges across the country. His dream is to pursue a bachelor’s degree in international business and one day work for the Central Intelligence Agency.
The CHCI familia is proud of Hugo and looks forward to the positive possibilities in his future.