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PCC, Oregon Leadership Institute to Recognize Hispanic Youth
Photos and Story by James Hill
ROCK CREEK CAMPUS – The Rock Creek Campus of Portland Community College will sponsor a graduation ceremony, complete with a grand fiesta and dinner dance, to honor participants of the Oregon Leadership Institute’s Latino leadership youth program. The program pairs high school students with college-age mentors in an eight-month program of study and leadership exercises. The graduation ceremony will be held from 4 until 6:30 p.m., Saturday, June 8, in the Forum, Building 3, at the Rock Creek Campus, located at 17705 N.W. Springville Road. The program will recognize 48 Latino high school students who have completed the program that focuses on leadership skills, networking, exploring career options and creating more opportunities for continued education. The high school students, who are between the ages 15 to 19, were paired with 23 PCC students, mostly Latino, who served as mentors. Since 1986, more than 1000 youth have participated in the OLI program in the Portland metro area. In monthly sessions, students discuss a variety of topics, such as "Culture," "Heritage and Roots," "Leadership," "Personal Responsibility," "Taking Charge of Your Future," "Career Possibilities" and "Selecting a College." The program features guest speakers from the community and students have required reading. In one session, students participate in an outdoor high-rope challenge course. "The program was developed,"said Paul Halloran, the program coordinator and PCC enrollment advocate, "for Latinos who are motivated to learn about themselves and their culture and become active in their community. It provides a safe and supportive place for students to explore their lives, their place in the world and their dreams."OLI graduates from the following high schools will receive recognition: Aloha High School — Lucia Izquierdo, Israel Ruiz Santiago, Consuelo Tinajero, Patricia Izquierdo, Lucia Izquierdo, Clara Arroyo Martinez; Beaverton High School — Jaime Angeles, Silvia Carolina Hernandez, Maria Elizabeth Mercado, Niurka Oliva, Nancy Patricia Martinez, Gustavo Medina, Alberto Nunez, Cristal Olalde, Betzabe Gaitan, Celestino Espinoza, Dalia Centeno Aguilar, Jessica Rios; Century High School — Mayra Alfaro, Dawn Cisneros, Cynthyia Barron, Selene Gonzalez, Fabiola Alonso, Miguel Reyes; Forest Grove High School — Cynthia Garcia, Elmer Merida Jacinto, Alcides Cerrud, Eduardo Tecum, Laura Balsulto, Manuel Lopez G., Adan Merecias; Glencoe High School — Eunice Escutia; Hillsboro High School: Miguel Cholula; Merlo Station High School — Julio Rascon, Yesenia Vargas, Israel Hernandez; Southridge High School — Maria Nemecio, Maria Alfaro, Omar De La Cruz, Maria Isabel De La Cruz, Ivan Dominguez; Sunset High School — Liliana Flores, Raymundo Aztatzi, Sarai Quiroz, Raquel Lopez, Jaime Cruz, Carlos Chacon; Westview High School — Fernando Dominguez, Iris Karina Galicia, Particia Monserrat.PCC students who participated as mentors in the program include: Eleuterio Acosta, Adan Barragan, Fernando Calderon, Gloria Campos, Eden Lopez, Jesus Nicolas Mendez, Meced Ojeda, Manuel Rodriguez, Elizabeth Sanchez, Elias Aguirre, Thiago Bittar, Mario Calderon, Jenny Jacinto, Xiomara Merida, Maria Moreno, Adriana Rodriguez, Maria Samayoa, Omar Torres, Rosa Torres, Edgar Valdez, Yathzi Turco, Vilmer Villanueva.For more information, contact Paul Halloran at the Rock Creek Campus, 503-614-7438.