2015 Young Legislators

(Cerritos, CA) – California State Assembly Member Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) hosted an awards ceremony to honor her young constituents who participated in the Young Legislators Program. High school students participate in the program which consists of both legislative education and community service. The participants get hands-on experience about how a bill becomes a law in Sacramento, as well as spend time working in their own community. Watch this Assembly Access Video to hear from Assemblymember Garcia and some of the teenagers who took part in the Young Legislators Program.

Alex Camacho
I would describe myself as compassionate and easy going by nature. I am always approachable, dependable and I greatly value my personal relationships. In the Young Legislators Program, I have learned a great deal about the parts of government that the majority of the public ignore. I aspire to major in the field of psychology and eventually become a psychologist or counselor in either education or criminal justice. I would like to thank Patrick for coordinating the meetings and being a great mentor, Jessica Esquivel for giving me a ride to every meeting and of course Cristina Garcia for giving us her invaluable time.

Amber Medina
My name is Amber Medina and I am a student at Warren High School. Although my passions range from fashion to learning instruments, my heart is set on pursuing a career in Environmental Policy and Planning. I hope to become a Senior Environmental Planner for local government. The Young Legislator Program helped me grow so much. Learning about government organization and being part of the Environmental Committee has helped me reach my goals. Through this program I’ve met amazing young leaders whose mindset resembles my own and inspirational people such as Cristina Garcia. I would like to thank and applaud her for all the dedication she puts into her district and the Young Legislators Program. I also want to give a shout out to my teachers, mentors and especially my parents for pushing me toward my dreams and always supporting my pursuits with love and encouragement.

Bohesa Won
My name is Bohesa Won and I am currently a senior at Warren High School in Downey, CA. I have enjoyed the past four years in high school serving my community through Key Club and Girl Scouts. I’ve also worked on the school newspaper and the news broadcasting program as an anchor. This fall, I am excited to attend Georgetown University and major in International Politics. With that, I hope to work in government to make advancements in the field of public diplomacy. The Young Legislators Program provided me with the understanding that government can gain knowledge simply by reaching out to community members and speaking with leaders of businesses and organizations. This process of community outreach improves communication and knowledge, which I realize can greatly reduce the potential for misunderstandings and errors in the bill-making process. More importantly, the program allowed me to experience the rigorous process of creating and passing a bill, which has served to increase my respect for the legislative process and the work the government must put in to improve the world around us. I would like to thank Assemblymember Cristina Garcia as well as Patrick Sunpanich for the opportunity to understand the inner workings of government. It has been an incredible experience that I will look back on in future years.

Brenda Garcia
My name is Brenda Garcia and I am a senior at the Applied Technology Center in the City of Montebello. I have many interests including art, photography, writing, music and meeting new people. The Young Legislators Program taught there are many issues in our community that are extremely important and need action to be taken. It was also a great opportunity to visit different locations and learn about the work that goes into policymaking. In the future I would like to work in marketing for a company in the art industry. I would like to thank Cristina Garcia, Patrick and the staff for making this program possible.

Brittany Battan
I am a hardworking individual who joined this program to explore the legislative branch of government. I have learned that law plays a large role in our everyday lives, even in ways we do not expect. I am a science-math oriented person who has the desire to give back to the community. Because of these characteristics, my ideal career would be civil engineering, so I can make our roads and neighborhoods safer. I would like to thank Cristina Garcia for leading efforts to educate the children of her district and for being the forefront of the Young Legislators Program. I would also like to thank Patrick Sunpanich for his time and patience with all of us. All the work you do is incredible and does not go unappreciated.

Claudia Plascencia
Faith, life, and freedom are some of the things I value most as an individual and an American.
The Young Legislators Program has given me the opportunity to learn many different aspects and perspectives of public policy, business, education, healthcare and community. In the fall, I will be attending Azusa Pacific University and majoring in Biology as part of the Pre-med program. I aspire to become a Neonatologist, which specializes in the care of premature and critically ill newborns. My career goals are to advocate for life of the unborn, disabled, elderly and sick. I would like to thank Cristina Garcia for offering such a great opportunity to students throughout her district. I would also like to thank my parents for providing transportation to every event that was part of the Young Legislators Program. I strongly feel I am a better-rounded student and individual because of the program.

Dallas Singh
Hi I'm Dallas Singh. I consider myself to be fun, loving and serious at the same time. I enjoy my life as much as I can but at the same time, I always get the job done. Family always comes first. I consider myself lucky to be accepted into this program. My goal is to be a law enforcement officer so I can be of service to the country and community that offered great things to my family. Since I plan to protect the law of the land, I felt it was necessary to learn who influences our laws. The Young Legislator Program did an exceptional job at teaching me the legislative process. I would like to thank Assemblywoman Garcia; without her and her great staff we wouldn’t have the opportunity to learn and have fun.

Emma Ramos
My name is Emma and I am a young leader who aspires to better our community by working hard and inspiring others. I always strive to keep an open mind and be a person of good character. As Christian McGrath says "We can only see as far as our experiences allow us to perceive." I have passion for painting and writing essays. My hope is to travel the world one country at a time! Through the Young Legislators Program I have learned how everything in a community is related to one another. The places we visited demonstrate how hundreds of companies and millions of people are connected. This isn’t just about government and politics, it’s about how cities and people work together to keep our modern world moving forward. This upcoming fall I am going to attend UC Davis. Go Aggies! I am going to major in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning with an emphasis in water. I also plan to minor in Contemporary Leadership and Communications. My plan is to become an environmental/urban planner for the State of California so I can help solve the problems the severe drought brought to our state. Aside from the work I want to do with my Environmental Science degree, another big goal of mine is to one day give a TED talk on leadership. Thank you to Cristina Garcia and staff for helping a group of students become a group of young leaders. The experience has been unforgettable and has given us amazing insight. I would also like to thank my parents for everything you do. Thanks to you I have learned that all my failures are lessons learned and all my accomplishments are motivation. I am grateful for all the opportunities I’ve been blessed with throughout my life. Animo. Los quiero mucho.

Ethan Trejo
I have always described myself as someone who stays true to himself. I take enormous pride in working hard for what I want. I believe my greatest assets are my originality and ambition. Always and forever, Ethan Trejo. The Young Legislators Program taught me about the hard work that is necessary to be a legislator. It’s also informed me of the various aspects a legislator must be familiar with to do their job efficiently; from water treatment, to education, to healthcare and even business. I plan on earning a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Whittier College and then attend law school to become a lawyer. I hope to eventually become a judge. I would like to thank my family for instilling great values in me and showing me the value of hard work. I would also like to thank my friends for loving who I am and never questioning it. Finally, I’d like to thank programs like the Young Legislators Program, for giving me the opportunity to expand my horizons and glean knowledge I can use in the future.

Eunice Lee
I am an 18 year old Korean-American student. For fun, I like to critique gourmet food, play the piano and shop. I am also currently employed with two jobs. According to my friends, I am committed, always open to the needs of others and frightfully straightforward. My ambition is to become a great computer engineer and CEO of my own company. Through the Young Legislators Program, I have gained substantial experience as a leader and student. This program showed me how crucial legislation is in our everyday lives and how much impact it has on our very own district and city. I also witnessed the effort and dedication that goes into improving a city by attending the volunteer events the program provided. For all of this and so much more, I thank Assemblymember Cristina Garcia and her right-hand man, Patrick Sunpanich. I would like to recognize the Assemblymember and all of her staff for providing such an amazing learning experience for all of the Young Legislators and for ensuring we all have the potential to become the success of the future. Thank you so much!

Giovanna Lara
In the Young Legislators Program I learned about the involvement of government in communities. I also learned that changes in government aren’t always easy. It requires hard work and persistence. If I had to describe myself in three words I’d pick smart, thoughtful and caring. As I make my transition into college I hope to become a physical therapist. I’d like to thank my mom for getting me to the meetings at least 10 minutes early.

Hilda Atuncar
This fall, I will be attending the University of California Santa Barbara. For the last few months, the Young Legislators Program has given me many opportunities to grow as an aspiring legislator. Through the YL Program I learned that upward mobility for a community, is based on the economic growth from businesses like Coca Cola. The YL Program helped strengthen my relationship to my community and local, state and federal government. I learned about a variety of different issues in federal legislation and local trends. I would like to thank my mom, dad, brother and of course, God.

Isabel Morales
I am a graduate of Bellflower High School. I am a goal-oriented, independent and persistent individual. My goal is to succeed in anything I do, may that be in school or life. Being in the Young Legislator Program, I learned real world skills. Through the businesses we visited, I received a glimpse of how the working world functions. I also learned to push my limits, not only for my personal gain but to help others. I plan on attending community college where I will prep for my transfer into a University. My overall career goal is to become a pharmacist and make medicinal treatments available to those in need regardless of financial means. I would like to thank my older sister who always encouraged me to do my best and my god parents who housed me while I pursued a better future. I would also like to thank my parents who accepted and encouraged my wild ambitions from thousands of miles away.

Jessica Esquivel
I am someone who tries new things, like the YL program, to learn. I enjoy learning and knowing as much information as possible. In the YL program I learned what being a legislator is all about as well as the importance of being prompt. My ambition is to become a high school history teacher. I would like to thank Patrick for letting me be a part of this program and my fellow YLs for making this program fun.

Jorgel Chavez
Throughout my life I have been passionate, competent and a leader for change. I love my roots and strive to be the next leader for the Latino Community. Growing up in the beautiful City of Bell Gardens, much is not expected from me. However, I have gone against everyone’s expectations and proved those statistics wrong. After completing the Young Senators Program for Senator Ricardo Lara, I knew I wanted to do more to stay active within my community. I decided to apply to Assemblymember Cristina Garcia’s Young Legislators Program. After a month or two of waiting, I received my acceptance for the program and I knew it would be another amazing ride. After completing the program, I can honestly say I loved every single moment of it. From attending the orientation at the Cerritos Library to our Sacramento Trip this last month, I have grown and learned so much. The program encouraged me to pursue my dream of becoming the President of the United States of America. To achieve my dream, I have to make my way up the system so within the next 3 years I will be on a ballot for public office. Overall, I would like to thank my mother and father for supporting me through everything. I can honestly say I am grateful to have them. Thank you to Assemblymember Cristina Garcia for making this amazing program available to the youth within her district. Last but not least, I would like to thank Patrick, the facilitator and coordinator of the program. Thank you all.

Karen Sanchez
There are a lot of characteristics that make me the person I am. Everyone can say that there is a lot about who they are as a person. I have several interests, such as music, sports, science and history. My love for music began at a very young age. I learned how to play the piano and guitar in middle school and haven’t stopped since! I wasn’t always an athlete. In fact, I struggled to stick with a sport I truly enjoyed. I always enjoyed swimming but I never imagined myself swimming competitively. It wasn’t until high school that I found my true passion for swimming and cheerleading. The moments I spent in the water or on the stage performing, are the highlights of my high school career. Swimming taught me to never give up even when I’m tired and overwhelmed. It taught me not to stop pushing, even if I feel like my legs are about to give out. These lessons can be applied to my daily life. Cheerleading taught me how to work in a team. It taught me how to communicate quickly and effectively. The lessons I acquired, can be applied to the workforce. Coming from a family of doctors and surgeons I always found a great interest in the human body. I think it’s amazing to see how each and every cell creates multiple organisms that help our body function. After taking anatomy this year, I learned a lot more about the human body. It made me consider going into the medical field, however, there are other options. Growing up I always wanted to help people. Even as a child my career choices fluctuated from being a teacher, doctor, vet and even detective! In middle school I realized I can be very persuasive. Knowing this, I thought an ideal career choice for me would be becoming a lawyer. All throughout my education I’ve had a special interest in history. I always enjoyed history class and looked forward to it. I enjoyed learning about the history of our country and now in economics and government I especially enjoy and find a great interest in learning about our economy and government. The Young Legislator Program gave me a better understanding of all the decisions that are made in government. I received a deeper understanding of legislative policies in health care, nutrition, water recycling and more! I also learned that as an individual, I can make a change in my community. Along with everything I learned, I now recognize the effort and hard work our Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia puts into our district. I would like to acknowledge her for everything she did for this program. It’s a great honor and privilege to see her on a regular basis (goes to show all the effort and attention she gave to us as individuals and as a program). I will also like to recognize my family, of course, for supporting me through my educational career and for reminding me that working hard and applying myself will get me far and successful. I would’ve never been able to get through the sleepless nights without them. Lastly, I want to recognize my fellow Young Legislators. Several have kept me accountable and there were many friendships made throughout the program. I enjoyed hearing and occasionally debating about different opinions (It’s the lawyer inside of me). As I graduate along with my peers, I will apply the memories we made and the lessons I learned to the rest of my life.

Kayrah Uraizee
I am a person who loves learning and values innovation. I value ingenuity and honesty just as much as I value opinions and thoughts. I favor actions far more than words, since they convey things better than words. In the Young Legislators Program I learned a lot about policy making and I had the opportunity to see government in action. I never knew there were liaisons for businesses and I certainly never thought businesses like Kaiser or Coca Cola would be deeply involved in government. I also learned what my state legislature consists of.. My career ambitions are far from what I ever imagined. I aspire to be a mechanical engineer specializing in robotics. I would also like to pursue a career in design, architecture and when I'm of age, I'll run for Senate. My ambition is to make differences through what I do rather than what I say. I would like to thank my family for their support. They are my roots and the reason I can stand strong during hard times. I'd like to recognize my dad because he is there to advise me when I'm down and my mother who is always there for me when I need her. Overall, I would like to recognize them for being my pillars of support along with both my siblings and grandparents. They never let me forget who I am.

Leslie Fernandez
My name is Leslie Fernandez and I will be attending San Francisco State University this fall. I am ambitious and dedicated to everything I do. I love setting goals for myself and completing them. It fills me with joy knowing I can do anything as long as I put my mind to it. I love being challenged whether it’s for a sport or with my school work. I also enjoy trying new things and doing things that are thrilling. Being in the Young Legislators Program helped me develop many qualities and good habits. These include meeting deadlines, always asking questions, making an effort to make situations in my community better, be willing to think outside of my comfort zone and, the biggest of them all, always be on time. Being part of this amazing group has introduced me to many like-minded people. All the YL’s have the same goal in mind: to succeed. I plan to major in Political Science. Being in this program has given me an advantage over other students and has allowed me to learn how legislation is made. It makes me that much more excited to study Political Science. Creating my own bill was difficult but it gave me a peek into how my future might be. I would like to give the biggest thanks to my mom, brother and sisters for always pushing me to my limits and for teaching me to never give up on anything until I accomplished it. They taught me to push myself and always be the best I can be. I would also like to thank the Young Legislators Program for giving me the opportunity to be part of a once in a lifetime experience that now marks a milestone in my life.

Mariam Elghazzawy
During my senior year in high school, I had a couple of life changing epiphanies. One of these epiphanies is self-identification. I must admit, there was a time when I thought there was a formula for identifying myself; who I am and who I would like to be. High school made me realize my characteristics are inherently tied to the experiences I go through. I applied to the Young Legislators Program because I wanted to be aware of the policy issues that surround me. One of my goals is to make a change in my community, but I realized I couldn’t make that change without first connecting with my community. The Young Legislators Program made me realize, connecting to my community is possible and can be done in several ways. Before becoming a young legislator, I thought getting involved was a complicated process that required an extremely audacious personality. However, the Young Legislators Program taught me involvement could be as simple as volunteering at an event or socializing with prominent members of the community. The Young Legislators Program introduced me to a variety of well-known organizations and showed me government’s involvement in each of them. I used to believe there was a barrier between different careers, but the Young Legislators Program made me realize all careers are interconnected. I always wanted a career in the medical field, but at the same time, political science also interested me. Now I know policy and the medical field cannot exist without each other. My change in perspective allowed me to see the possibility of becoming a politician in the medical field. The Young Legislators Program has expanded my knowledge in policy making. I would like to thank Patrick, for always being with us, even with his hectic schedule. I would also like to thank Cristina Garcia, for making this amazing program possible and for attending every Saturday meeting. It amazed me to see her at every meeting. It really showed how much she values the young legislators. This program has been both empowering and interesting. If possible, I would do it again!

Mario Dolores
I would describe myself as someone who is self-reliant, strong, a diverse thinker and someone who is not afraid to speak his mind. I am always ready to give anything a try and I have learned to take risks for the betterment of myself and others. As part of the Young Legislators Program, I gained an in-depth understanding of the interaction between legislation and politics. I also learned how everything, from water to businesses, interacts with legislation. My career goal is to be a CEO of an entertainment/music company and/or be a business owner. I’d like to recognize my sister Alejandra Dolores and my parents Irma and Juan Dolores. I would also like to thank all the locations we visited including Coca-Cola, Google, L.A. Sanitation District etc. Thank you all for your courtesy and for showing us how your company/organization operates.

Natalie Rose Gomez
As a senior at Downey High School, I was a writer for the Volsung Yearbook Staff, a writer and section editor for The Downey Legend, a tutor and Vice President for the Writing Center. Like most teenagers I enjoy the simple things in life and I’m content with staying home and binge watching my favorite television shows on Netflix. Although I love staying home and keeping to myself, I also enjoy other activities such as surfing, hiking, shopping, writing, going to cafés, exploring art exhibits and drinking tea. As a YL, my knowledge of the legislative process has increased immensely. I learned all of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into creating the laws that I have to abide. My perspective on the legislative process has changed since I’ve talked to people with first-hand experience and since I’ve tried to create my own legislation. After my experience in the Young Legislators Program, my desire to go into the field of law has only increased. In the fall, I will attend the University of California Irvine. I will major in Psychology and am still deciding whether I want to double major in Computer Science or English. After completing my undergraduate studies, I plan to attend a top tier law school to study intellectual property or medical malpractice law. As my time with the YLs comes to an end, I would like to thank everyone who made this opportunity possible. Without Assemblymember Cristina Garcia and her hardworking staff, this experience would not have been possible. Through this program I’ve made friends with kids my age who I wouldn’t have met otherwise. I would also like to recognize all of the YLs for being pretty great people to be around. Everyone made waking up early on Saturday mornings for meetings or volunteer events worthwhile. Lastly, I would like to thank Patrick for coming into my economics class back in my first semester of senior year. Without that presentation I would not have known about this program and would have missed out on an amazing opportunity.

Nestor Carrera
If I had to describe myself in a few words, I would say I am a hard worker, ambitious, problem solver, people person and someone who always stays positive. Being a part of the Young Legislature Program helped me attain a more in depth understanding of the California State Legislature. It has also helped me become a very punctual person. I now attend events with time to spare. My career goal is to become an entertainment lawyer. I will be attending Citrus College in the fall. I would like to thank my very supportive and loving family that God has blessed me with and my mentors, Mr. Rico and Mr. Renner. Thank you all for your continuous support.

Nicolas Hernández
As an individual, I am compassionate and respectful toward everyone I work with and meet. Being rude or disruptive is not in my nature – one could say I’m a “good boy.” However, I do like to sprout out and be independent. I often find myself alone on journeys without my friends. It’s not because I’m introverted, but because I like to follow what I believe is right not just to everyone else’s benefit. Along my little journeys I keep an open mind and a caring personality, even if I feel out of place. One of these journeys, the Youth Legislators Program, has helped me develop as an individual. It has shown me how influential the legislative process is on companies, communities and families. This program taught me the value of punctuality and formality when representing an organization. It has also taught me how to work well with others to reach a similar goal. Though I may be unsure of which career I would like to pursue, I know I will search for a path where I will work with people face-to-face every day. I would also like to help my community or another nation’s community and implement my compassion into my work. In short, I want to help. It’s what I love to do. For my experience in the Young Legislator Program, I would like to thank Miss Cristina Garcia, Patrick Sunpanich and the rest of the team that organized all our meetings, lunches and visits. This program has given me an inside look of the collective work that goes into working for the legislative branch of government and so much more. Thank you for allowing me to be part of this year’s incredibly talented class. This was all too much fun!

Omar Salas
I was raised with a certain set of mind. I've learned to attain all the necessities in order to do my work. Explaining who I am is difficult. In order to know a person it's best to meet the individual. Through the Young Legislators Program I have learned to always ask questions and find an interest in everything. It’s good to ask and know more of something. I knew nothing about the products Coca Cola produces and the work it provides for the community. The same goes for all the other locations we visited. I learned there is more to know about a location than the few things they are known for. I’m going to use the skills and knowledge I have obtained to reach my goal of being an Orthopedic surgeon. I want to help others and provide them with a life that is comfortable and filled with happiness. I plan to make my family proud by reaching my goals and doing what I love to do. I would like to thank Patrick for giving me the opportunity to be part of this program and the rest of the team for all your work. Good luck to the team and to Cristina Garcia.

Robert Fuentes
I'm Robert Fuentes from the Applied Technology Center in the City of Montebello. I am a person who strives to be the best version of myself every day. What I've learned from the Young Legislator Program is a sense of punctuality. I have immense respect for the people that are punctual and take time out of their day to organize and facilitate a particular function. I hope to incorporate this into my everyday life and teach others the importance of these skills. My ambition in life is to be truly happy, whether that involves making a comfortable living, having a great family or even having a nice home. Whatever happens in life I know at some point I will wake up and know I am happy. That is where I will settle.
People I'd like to recognize are our advisor Patrick, Martin Medrano, Cristina Garcia and a special recognition to all the YL's. They shaped who I am today and who I will be tomorrow.

Ryan Kang
If I had to describe myself in a few words, I would say I am environmentally cautious, an equal rights activist and a cat lover. Through the Young Legislator Program, I learned how legislation works in the local and state level and how politics are involved in every sector of the state and economy. I also learned to appreciate and participate in my community. After successfully completing the program, I hope to make a meaningful and lasting impact on my community, whether it be on a small scale or large scale. I would like to thank Cristina Garcia and everyone else who helped put the Young Legislators Program together, for making sure we all had the most enjoyable and educational experience possible. It was a valuable use of time.

Sally Alcocer
Hello, my name is Sally Alcocer and I am a very responsible and engaging individual. Through the Young Legislators Program I learned to become an active member of society. I learned regulations and policies have important affects in our lives so we must not only partake in them but also become the deciding factor of these regulations. My ambition is to become an international doctor that changes societal flaws in our world and inspires change. I would like to thank my mother for always supporting me and pushing me to be great.

Savannah Ovaldia
I am a cruelty free, vegetarian, feminist and non-believer in zoo’s and aquariums. I am open, caring, bold and a fighter for what I believe in. These are just a few words that begin to describe me. What I learned in the program was that no matter where you’re from or what your GPA is, there will always be someone to give you a chance who knows you are going to do well in life.
I also learned how a bill becomes a law. My ambition is to become Governor of California or one day be a Senator for the State of California. The person I would like to recognize is my Dad for taking me to every event and for waking up early to drop me off at every Walk n’ Talk.

Silvia Preciado
Hello! I'm currently a graduating senior at Downey High School, class of 2015. Growing up I had always been on the receiving end of help. Now that I am older, I made it a personal goal to reciprocate the favor and give back to my community. I have been intrigued by how I can give back and improve the lives of others. I plan on becoming an engineer to help with global issues, like creating efficient ways to transport water to destitute areas or by creating other lifesaving technology. In this program I found an outlet to connect and understand the relationship between government and ordinary life. It was certainly an eye opening experience to visit different companies and entities around my community. In this program, I was given the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone. I was constantly networking, putting myself out there and interacting with amazing people from different areas. Of the many opportunities put forth in this program I was granted the honor of taking and defending my bill in the Capitol. I never thought I could take such initiative and help create legislation. I would like to thank Cristina Garcia for starting the Young Legislators Program. This program helped me grow as a person in a short amount of time. I would also like to thank Patrick Sunpanich for pushing all of us to become leaders and for encouraging us to explore our interests. I would also like to thank you for encouraging us to ask questions, or as he would put it to "be that creepy person" that takes advantage of being a student. Special thanks to everyone who hosted us on our meetings!!!

Sofia Ramos
I would first like to thank Ms. Cristina Garcia, for creating a program that teaches young individuals the work that is required to make a community successful. It truly is an amazing program. I am the Senior Class President of the Associated Student Body at Warren High School, a varsity member of the cross-country, track, and cheer team. Last year, I co-founded Ladies Leadership, a club whose mission is to expose young women to the world of politics and leadership by having them attend events and volunteer in the community. I’ve also had the pleasure of being a YL member during my last year at Warren. Being part of the Young Legislator Program allowed me to gain a new perspective on community. I learned that the success of a community is a direct reflection of the individuals in that community who want to make it successful. Through the Young Legislators Program, I was able to visit the Los Angeles County Sanitation District and the Coca Cola factory. During these visits I witnessed the various components that make a company successful. While machines have a big role in the company and take up a lot of space in a factory, the success of a company depends on its service to the community. Similarly, politics and government success is dependent on the constituents it serves. While I’ve enjoyed meeting new people and learning about the legislative process, the most important thing I’ve learned from YL Program is the importance of community service. I would like to thank my parents and my brother for always pushing me to do my best. I would also like to thank my teachers and mentors that helped me discover who I want to be. I plan on pursuing my interest in government and politics at UCLA in the fall and, if I survive, attend law school soon after.

Tiffany Quintero
I’m the type of person that likes taking on new challenges, even when they’re outside of my comfort zone. I am strong, determined, adventurous and enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors.
There are two things I have learned from this year’s Young Legislators Program. One, trying something new brings great opportunity, great friends and great memories! Two, tardiness is strictly prohibited with the exception of… scratch that, there are no exceptions. In the fall of 2015 I plan to attend Cal State University, Monterey Bay and major in Environmental Science Technology and Policy. My long-term goal is to be a lawyer for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). My efforts will be focused on protecting the Earth and making it as environmentally friendly as possible. I would like to thank my grandma, my aunts Erica and Rosie, and my older cousin Susie for supporting me in all I’ve done. They guided me to a brighter tomorrow. I owe all my achievements, current and future, to them. My family is the greatest support group. I love them from the bottom of my heart.

Valerie Govea
I’m Valerie Govea and there are three words that describe me: loud, smart and a book lover. Through the Young Legislator Program I learned many things could affect you if you don't educate yourself. For me, this was great to learn because I want to use my education to help others. I would like to thank my family, especially my grandma who is no longer here. She encouraged me to always keep trying and to expand my knowledge through books.