Meet Your Young Legislators
Two of our Generation 1st Degree student members, Haya Villareal and Hugo Vera have an interest in politics and making a change in their community. Instead of waiting until they major in political science or land their first job in government, these two motivated students have taken a leap forward by applying for and being accepted into Assembly Member Cristina Garcia’s Young Legislators Program.
The Young Legislators Program (YLP) provides high school students with the opportunity to become acquainted with the legislative process and to integrate themselves within their local communities through service. Upon completion of this program, Haya and Hugo will have cultivated a thorough understanding of legislative politics and will be well equipped to become future leaders.
“When I told Michelle Sandoval that I was interested in political science, she encouraged me to apply for the Young Legislators Program,” said Hugo Vera, a senior at El Rancho High School. “I’m already a member of the Teen Courts Club, but being part of YLP gives me an opportunity to find out how I can be engaged in the community.”
Similar to Hugo, Haya Villareal, also a senior at El Rancho High School, wanted to learn how government and businesses help communities on a day-to-day basis.
Since the program began, Vera and Hugo have toured the college campus of UCLA and the Coca-Cola Factory. The group of 45 students selected from all over California will also take a 3-day trip to Sacramento to learn more about our state’s government.
“I know for a fact that I want to be part of my community and help, and through YLP I get to see how change is made and what actions need to take place,” said Vera. “I also applied because my mom always told me if there’s an opportunity, I should take it because you never know where it will get you.”
Vera’s mom is right! The more opportunities students participate in to gain a deeper understanding of a career or industry, the more personal insight they will have to further themselves in that field. If you have a specific interest and want to know how you can gain more hands-on experience, don’t hesitate to reach out to a local professional or association to find out what types of student programs they offer. It’s also a very good time to start researching and planning for summer programs.