Five Students Represent Riverhead at Angelo Del Toro Puerto Rican/Hispanic Youth Leadership Institute
Students Selected to Develop Leadership Skills, Create Partnerships and Engage with the Legislative Process
RIVERHEAD, NEW YORK (MARCH 2023) — Five Riverhead High School students were selected to represent the school at the annual Angelo Del Toro Puerto Rican/Hispanic Youth Leadership Institute (PRHYLI) in Albany, NY on March 11th-13th, 2023. Jennifer Alonzo, Emelin Boch Torres, Angie Martinez, Kimberly Mendez and Alessandra Menjivar were chosen based on a rigorous application that included four training sessions, an essay and teacher recommendation letters.
Over the course of three days at the institute, the students participated in a variety of team-building activities and workshops with 200 other outstanding Hispanic students from across New York State. The students’ participation came at no cost to the students or the District. In addition, scholarships were also awarded to outstanding delegates. Kimberly, Jennifer and Emelin all won scholarships from Somos New York, a nonprofit that helped organize the event and supports the Hispanic population of New York. Kimberly was awarded a $2,500 scholarship, Jennifer received a $1,400 scholarship, and Emelin was granted a $850 scholarship.
“We are incredibly proud of our students and excited they were able to enjoy this wonderful opportunity,” said Riverhead Central School District Superintendent Dr. Augustine E. Tornatore. “The skills and connections they have gained from the institute will enhance their abilities in the classroom, future educational and career opportunities and contributions to the community.”
The PRHYLI has four main goals: (1) the development of leadership skills in Latino/Hispanic youth, (2) the creation of opportunities for Latino/Hispanic students to interact with positive role models, such as Puerto Rican/Latino elected officials, educators and business leaders, (3) the creation of partnerships and conversations among educators, business leaders and students and (4) the development of an in-depth knowledge of the state legislative process. The institute culminated with a mock assembly, in which the students sat in the seat of their New York State representative and argued for or against a number of actual bills making their way through the assembly based on their representative’s viewpoint. In preparation for the mock assembly, potential Riverhead student delegates met with New York State Assemblywoman Jodi Giglio in February and used the knowledge they gained to excel in their performances.