BY CASEY CHAPTER
The many clubs here at CCHS give students a place to explore their interests. One such organization aims to bring success to a specific demographic of students.
“I fell in love with the [concept] of Latinos in Action,” president Angelica Gollarza said. “We finally have a leadership class that we can actually participate in.”
Latinos in Action is a class that enables members to build their public speaking skills and prepare for their futures. Every seventh hour, these students explore the three pillars on which the organization was founded: professional, social and service.
“It’s been an amazing class for me,” social committee vice president Tatiana Olivo said. “I’m with all my friends, and we’re learning. And we actually work and do something positive.”
While the professional area focuses on helping the students prepare for college, the social pillar works to spread positivity around the community.
“The social [aspect] is basically getting out there and not just doing things for the Latino community, but getting out to the whole,” club advisor Mrs. Angelica Perez said.
The events that they have planned have specific intentions: LIA students are working to help others that are like them. The efforts that these members make in this club have led to their personal growth.
“It’s helped me because now we’re all bonding, we’re like a family now,” Olivo said. “I can relate to everyone that’s in there. We’ve all been through the same things. We came here knowing no English, and now we’ve improved and we just want to help our community.”
These students came into high school from different countries, having spoken only Spanish for their entire lives. Latinos in Action has fostered their proficiency in English while also helping them improve on their public speaking skills.
“I had these students for reading the first year they arrived. So I see them from the developmental class where they know very little to no English, to where they are now,” Perez said.
The members of Latinos in Action have been able to use their newly acquired skills. During open house, LIA students were able to present to the parents. While giving the members experience with public speaking, this small triumph made a big impact.
“I was in tears,” Perez said. “Because I saw these kids with no English, they were very sheltered, very quiet, very reserved. And right now they’re blossoming.”
While its intention was to better the quality of education for its members, the mission of Latinos in Action holds significance for all involved. Mrs. Perez empathizes with her students in this way.
“I went through the same process,” Perez said. “I came from Puerto Rico when I was ten, and I set a goal and I’m going to stick to it no matter what. And they know that, and they’ve seen it. I feel like they have that same mentality and they’re following in the same steps.”
With events such as their Hispanic Heritage Month walk coming up at the end of October, LIA is planning on reaching out to support others in any way they can.
“It’s our first year, so we’re trying our best to do a lot, to put our name out there, but know it’s going to take quite some time to do what we want to do,” Perez said.
Although still in its developmental stages, Latinos in Action has big plans for the future.
Featured photo by Casey Chapter