CHCI had an incredible turnout at the Ready to Lead (R2L) Los Angeles event held at California State University, Fullerton on Saturday, December 12, 2015. With over 300 students from the Los Angeles and Orange County area, the R2L program provided essential knowledge related to obtaining a postsecondary education through workshops, conversations, and mentoring. They were welcomed to campus by Dean of Students Dr. Tonantzin Oseguera before heading off to workshops.
Students broke out into in-depth training sessions in three critical areas for college preparation: college planning, financial literacy, and leadership development. The workshops were led by sponsors, CHCI alumni, and guests. Asena Taione-Filihia and Delia Tijerina of Cal State Fullerton led the College Planning sessions, aided by a group of current undergraduate students. CHCI alumni Adam Ochoa and Thomas Rivera led the Leadership Development sessions, joined by CHCI junior alumni Nicolas Villaneda and Valeria Olmedo who delivered remarks about the positive impact the R2L NextGen program had on their lives. The Financial Literacy session was led by Dan Fukuyama of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
Before lunch, students joined 47 mentors (including 13 alumni) for the Mentoring Power Hour. Students had the opportunity to meet with representatives from Cal State Fullerton; State Farm; University of California, Irvine; the Anaheim Police Department; and many others. We closed the Mentoring Power Hour with energetic and encouraging remarks from Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, who challenged the students to dream big and be the solution to the issues currently facing the world.
The program closed with a powerful keynote address by CHCI alumnus Juan Cangas who touched the hearts of the students and chaperones with his personal story of adversity and eventual triumph. Cangas reminded them that they all have what it takes to be successful.
R2L Los Angeles was made possible through the support of our generous sponsors and partners Box Tops for Education, State Farm, Time Warner Cable, Bank of America, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, and California State University at Fullerton. With their support, CHCI was able to impact the lives of young Latinos in the LA area and empower them to pursue higher education.
In 2015, R2L served 1,361 students, engaged 246 mentors, and was supported by 55 alumni in six cities across the country. We look forward to serving many more and continuing to empower the next generation of Latino leaders in 2016!