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CHCI congratulates the 2015 R2L NextGen-Ford Driving Dreams participants. With the support of sponsor Ford Motor Company Fund, as well as Southwest Airlines, the official airline of CHCI Leadership Programs, and Macy’s, the official R2L NextGen wardrobe sponsor, CHCI brought 20 students to D.C. July 26- 31, 2015 to learn about how the Federal Government works, the importance of being civically engaged, and how they can affect positive change in their communities. Each one of these high school students had a unique experience. Read the lasting impressions each one had from this life-changing week.

The program was held in conjunction with the 2015 R2L NextGen Program.

Biographies and Profiles

Cruz Alcauter
ASPIRA Early College High School
Broadview, IL

“Participating in the R2L NextGen program was such a great experience because I met great people from across the country. It was inspiring to interact with young Latino/as who want to make an impact in their home community.”

Romeo Davila
Roberto Clemente Community Academy
Chicago, IL

“R2L NextGen has changed my life. Over the course of a few days I made a ton of new friends and learned to appreciate life. The dedication of people in Washington, D.C., including CHCI staff, makes me wants to make a difference in my community.”

Kenia De La Cruz
Segerstrom High School
Santa Ana, CA

“I’m grateful for my R2L NextGen experience and to the people who invested time and resources to help me participate in this program. I plan to work hard and continue my education so that I can maximize the investment made in me.”

Diana Dominguez
ASPIRA Early College High School
Chicago, IL

“The best part of participating in the R2L NextGen program was making new friends from across the county who share similar passions. During the program, I learned that my peers are leaders and that I will have a lasting positive impact on our future.”

Maria Gonzalez
Millennium Brooklyn High School Brooklyn, NY

“R2L NextGen helped me believe in myself. I came here doubting myself, thinking that I was not good enough to be here. After a few days being with people who support and believe in me, I began to feel confident. I am excited to return to my community and make a difference, and I plan to share everything that I learned. I am proud to have been selected as a participant of the 2015 R2L NextGen class. I will go home and I know that I will change my community for the better.”

Luis Govea Moreno
Irving High School
Irving, TX

“R2L NextGen is truly something out of this world. It changed my life and taught me that my voice and opinion as a Latino does really matter. All the activities helped me believe in myself and become more confident as a Latino leader.”

Francesca Guzman
ASPIRA Early College High School Chicago, IL

“Participating in the R2L NextGen program was an amazing experience. I have learned so much from my peers; we became a family in such a short amount of time. I know we are all going to continue to grow as young Latino leaders.”

Maynor Loaisiga
G. Holmes Braddock Senior High School
Miami, FL

“CHCI’s R2L NextGen program provided me with the opportunity to develop my leadership skills through several workshops and meetings with leaders in the community. I now recognize that I have been a leader in my community all along.”

Steve Magaña
Maranatha High School
Los Angeles, CA

“The R2L NextGen program was an awesome experience that changed my life. It has given me even more confidence in myself and motivation to succeed. I’m excited to continue working with CHCI in the future.”

Mark Martinez
Academy of Arts and Sciences Cal/STEM High School
San Antonio, TX

“Before the R2L NextGen program, I did not pay a lot of attention to the problems in my community. But now I realize that it is important to pay attention because I have the power to make a difference.”

Valeria Olmedo
Alliance Patti & Peter Neuwirth Leadership Academy
Los Angeles, CA

“The R2L NextGen program is a physical representation that Latinos “si pueden.” My entire life I have heard that Latinos are hard working but are not cut out to be leaders. Being in a room full of educated Latinos made me realize that we are all indeed leaders.”

Clarissa Rios
Moises E. Molina High School
Dallas, TX

“The R2L NextGen program has motivated me to do my best and strive for success. I now know I have a voice and that I can make a difference. This program inspired me to vote and become involved in the political process.”

Rai Rocca Aragones
Robinson High School
Fairfax, VA

“R2L NextGen reinforced the importance of furthering my education. I learned that earning a high school diploma and a college degree has long-term benefits for me and my community.”

Omar Rodriguez
James Pace Early College High School
Brownsville, TX

“Attending the R2L NextGen program was an outstanding experience. Everyone had a similar background and beliefs. They made me proud of who I am and of my individual identity.”

Yeysi Rodriguez
Cardozo Education Campus
Washington, DC

“Participating in the R2L NextGen program inspired me to keep going and make a difference in my community. I learned that no matter what difficulties we face, we have to voice our opinion in order to make change.”

Nirelys Rohena
North Springs Charter High School
Atlanta, GA

“I loved participating in R2L NextGen program because I met new people and learned so much about the government. This program from start to finish was an incredible experience that I will never forget.”

Ana Ruas
TERRA Environmental Research Institute
Miami, FL

“This program is truly inspiring! It opened my eyes and showed me that my voice can make an impact in my community and in the nation.”

Gladys Sanchez
IDEA Quest College Preparatory Edinburg, TX

“The most satisfying part of the R2L NextGen program was having so many adults believe in me. They gave me the courage to spark change in my community and the nation.”

Maricelis Torres
Roberto Clemente Community Academy
Chicago, IL

“R2L NextGen was such an amazing experience. Meeting new people, touring the city, learning about Members of Congress and the world of politics was great. Being able to share my story and state my opinion on issues helped me feel powerful. I plan to take what I learned back to my community and share this experience with others to help spark a change.”

Giovanni Valle
Social Justice Humanitas Academy San Fernando, CA

“The R2L NextGen program changed my perspective on Latinos. It made me realize the importance of education and being involved in my local community.”