The Hispanic Culture Club and the United Cultures Club of N.R.H.S, gathered over 300 Latino teens from Westchester, Rockland and Sullivan County at New Rochelle High School on Saturday, March 16, 2013, for “The First Annual Westchester County Latino Youth Leadership Conference”. This was to be a day of celebration, unity, inspiration, development and Latino empowerment. This event provided a forum for teens to build their skills, celebrate their strengths, hear from successful Latino role models, and become inspired to follow their dreams and pursue a future full of opportunities.
New York State Assemblyman Marcos A. Crespo, a dynamic Peruvian-Puerto-Rican was the keynote speaker at the conference. Along with other local Latino professionals, he served as a role-model, for the attendees. Participants participated in over a dozen workshops that focused on topics like: educational and career opportunities, healthy lifestyles, and culture and music. The facilitator of this event was House Principal Gustavo Barbosa, without doubt, a tremendous advocate of the Latino and African American students at NRHS.
Invitations were sent to all members of the Board of Education, the Mayor’s office and local media. In a letter I wrote to the Board of Education, I made know my feelings for their lack of consideration and disrespectful behavior towards the students and their families:
Sent: Saturday, March 16, 2013 2:09 PM
To: Richard ORGANISCIAK; Chrisanne Petrone; firstname.lastname@example.org; dlacher; email@example.com; vorellana; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; Robert Cox; Michael.Woyton
Cc: manuel.avendano; Anthony Bongo; Don Conetta; Camille Edwards-Thomas; Rauch, Edward; Valenti, Ken L.
Subject: 1st Annual Westchester County Latino Youth Leadership Conference
Today at New Rochelle High School, we had nine (9) high schools represented with over 300 Latino high school students. Dozens of New Rochelle families were also present, administrators from many other high schools, including principals. There were many special guests including the dynamic NYS Assemblyperson Marcos Crespo from the Bronx (Peruvian-Puerto Rican). Leadership leaders from the Angelo Del Toro organization were here. Lots of excitement about the 12 workshops, food and music performance. An opportunity for our New Ro students to see mentors and leaders. An opportunity to feel proud.
Invitations were sent to the Board of Education and the Mayor's office. No one was there from leadership in our New Rochelle Board of Education. No one was there from the Mayor's office.
Latinos comprised almost 45% of the student body at NRHS. The parents today asked where is the Board President. Where is the Mayor? Que insulto they said. What an insult they said. What a shame. How sad. How disrespectful.
Former NR School Board Member