2016 Young Legislators

Alberto Martinez
I was raised in the City of Bell Gardens for the majority of my life. Through my upbringing, I have been taught to be involved in government so in high school, I joined ASB, the Social Justice Club, and the California State Federation. For college, I will be attending UC Riverside and majoring in Business Economics. My goal is to one day start my own business. Lastly, I would like to thank Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia for this wonderful opportunity.

Andrew Palacios (no picture)
What motivates me is my desire is to use all of the skills I have acquired to eventually better the lives of others. What I learned in the program is how involved legislation and government are in affairs that I normally would not expect them to be involved in. My short term goal as of right now is to successfully complete a semester at Assumption College. My long term goal is to successfully earn a college degree and eventually attend graduate school, all while working along the way. I would like to tremendously thank Edgar Estrada for being a really nice and helpful guy, for giving me rides, and for being there all the way through the program.

Cynthia Yepez
The number one thing that motivates me is myself, mentally pushing myself and repeating to myself that if I can think of it, I can achieve it. This program has taught me to speak up with courage, dignity, and with an open mind. One of my goals is to hopefully someday, after finishing school, return to my City of Bellflower and run for office as a city council member.

Elizabeth Romo
What motivates me is my passion to learn new things, and also my family who is always there to make sure I am at my highest potential in this program. I have learned that there is a wide variety of career options out there. I have gained great experiences visiting places I have never imagined myself to be in. It was an amazing experience being able to make new peers from different schools through running with them on long bus rides and during our visits. I have learned that legislation impacts many different careers in healthcare, entertainment, business, and technology. I am interested in many things. At the moment I am interested in majoring in fashion and apparel design. I would like to pursue having my own contemporary sportswear clothing line. Lastly, I would like to thank Cristina Garcia and her amazing staff for giving us this amazing and wonderful opportunity. Also, big thanks to my parents for supporting me in everything I do.

Hector Reyes
I am a senior in the Health Sciences pathway at Applied Technology Center High School. In my heartfelt opinion, my biggest motivator in life would be my little sister. She is my daughter in many ways, and I strive to be the best I can be for her. In the Young Legislator program, I learned just how widespread politics are and how they truly impact almost every aspect of our lives. In the short-term, I intend on studying to become a history teacher as I absolutely adore history and believe my passion for the subject may be contagious to my future students, which I know is important if you want them to learn. My long-term goal includes providing for my family, however big or small it may be, and teaching the youth the importance of compassion and empathy, with an emphasis on open-mindedness.

Jennifer Rios
The thing that motivates me is thinking about the things I will be able accomplish if I work hard. This program helped me understand how policies affect every aspect of my life and that my involvement can help change those policies. My short term goals are to graduate from CSUCI as a registered nurse with a minor in political science. My long term goal is to dedicate my life to helping people live a happier and healthier life, myself included. I would like to thank my parents, sisters, and friends for constantly supporting me on my goals and making me laugh every day. Special thank you to Ms. Nicoletti for helping me get involved in the Young Legislators program, which proved to be an amazing experience.

Jocelyne Ortiz
What motivates me is to be someone my parents could've wished to be for my brothers, sister and myself. I learned that that legislation has an effect on every company, small or large. One of my short term goals is to grow more as a person and continue learning what is yet to come my way. My long term goals are to become successful for family and myself, to continue making my parents proud, and to be happy with the life I'll be living.

Julie Anne Aguinaldo
I am a senior from Downey High School and the Chief Clerk the 2016 Young Legislators Program. This program has taught me a lot more of the community around me, the state-level legislative process, and an appreciation for the hard work of event organization. We visited places in our community and learned about how each place has a two-sided role in government, and we were given updates on the Assemblywoman’s work in the capitol. My given leadership position of Chief Clerk had me involved in learning just how much work the Assemblywoman’s staff actually has to do. This program allowed me to travel to places that were originally beyond my reach and I could only dream of visiting. I am forever grateful for the irreplaceable experiences that Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia has afforded me, as well as thankful to my fellow YLs for making my time memorable and fun. I plan to further my education at UC Irvine majoring in English and (hopefully) double majoring or minoring in Computer Science.

Kamryn C. Sagiao
My family has and will always motivate me to the best I can be. Thank you to Assemblymember Cristina Garcia for this wonderful opportunity and my parents for providing the transportation. From the program I learned how vital networking and public speaking skills are. I’m glad I got the chance to meet amazing young adults in the process. One short term goal is to graduate high school, and the long term goal is to graduate from UCR with at least my B.A.

Karen Lopez
I would like to thank Assemblymember Cristina Garcia for inspiring me to be involved in government. As a Hispanic woman, I noticed that we are underrepresented in many areas, including politics and law. However, the Young Legislators Program and the El Rancho Teen Court have inspired me to pursue a career in law. This fall, I will be studying at UC Santa Barbara.

Katheleen Madera
Government has always interested me because it affects everyone’s daily lives. I especially enjoy learning about government’s role in education, and that is one reason why I joined this program. Being involved in the California State Federation, I definitely did gain more insight into education with the Young Legislators. During the next four years, I will be studying psychology at UCLA, in hopes of becoming a pediatrician.

Keira Real
I am deeply motivated by my sister and family to do well, as well as my own desire and need to do well for myself and others. This program taught me not only about legislation, business and technology, but also its significance. It taught me how I can make a difference in my community, it taught me my voice mattered. That is exactly what I want to do with my life: change the world for the better. I'd like to thank Ms. Garcia for helping me realize the different ways I can achieve that, along with my family and the friends I made in the program.

Kimberly Chavez
The Young Legislator Program gave me an interest in political science. I always had an interest in it, but never was exposed to it until now. The program showed me how to be a team player, how to stay responsible, and that it’s okay to have an opinion on things. I loved all the places that the meetings were held at, especially the Fox Studios. This program opened my eyes, matter of fact it showed me how legislation can affect companies, people, and etc. My motivation is based doing the impossible, my family, friends, and trying to stay humble. My long term goals are to start a charity for children whose parents argue, are abusive, and etc. It goes more in depth, but what encourages me to do this is that I love to help people, which is why I am going to become a registered nurse. I also hope to either major or minor in political science. My short term goal to become an EMT and maybe have a little bakery business. I would like to thank my family. To my dad because he lets me decide my own choices but guides me through them, my mom for the love she gives me, my sister for being my role model and the courage she has, and my brothers for showing me to have patience. To my friends that are always there for me whenever I need them and showing me that love can be enough. I’d also like to thank the #58 District field representatives, their staff, and of course Cristina Garcia.

Kimberly Davila
The Young Legislators allowed me to discover different career options, while allowing me to discover how they are all intertwined with California's policy-making process. I plan to attend Brown University in the fall with a concentration in Political Science and International Relations with the hopes of going to law schools afterwards. I would later like to pursue a career in law and politics, and continue being involved in our government, especially on the national level. The ability to inspire others and defy barriers motivates me to continue pursuing my ambitions. I would like to thank Assembly member Garcia for allowing me and the other young legislators to experience all that we did, as well as Edgar for being a great coordinator who always made our visits enjoyable.

Lidia Rios
On the surface, I think I am like most young and modern women. I take school seriously, and I have dreams and goals for the future that I am determined to accomplish. Being part of the Young Legislator Program allowed me to gain a new perspective on my community. Noticing that the success of a community is a reflection of the individuals in that community who want to see it grow and prosper. I also learned how to become a more active member of society. I learned that despite people’s knowledge, regulations and policies have many effects on our lives. Thanks to the YL program I learned the importance of being on time when it comes to representing an organization, as well as learning how to work well with others in order to reach a similar goal. Despite being unsure of which career I would like to pursue, I know I will search for a path where I will work with people in an active way. For my experience in the Young Legislator Program, I would like to thank Miss Cristina Garcia, for creating and continuing a program that allows young individuals to learn the hard work that is necessary to keep a community up and running successfully. I would also like to thank my family for their endless love and support.

Luis Garcia
My motivation to succeed is my little sister Alikah Fernanda Garcia. Although she is only in kindergarten, she looks at me as her role model and the person she wants to be. I want to be that perfect successful role model she looks up to. Within this program I have learned the importance of networking and attire. Some of my short term goals include having a smooth transition to UC Riverside and being able to graduate with honors and some internships from UCR. Long term goals include working in our nation's capital as a Foreign Service officer and pursuing my career as a US Ambassador. Finally, I would like to first of all thank my family for allowing me to be part of this program. I would also like to thank Mrs. Qureshi for encouraging me to join this program and teaching me how everything works, and Mrs. Lugo for telling me that everything happens for a reason every time I ask her for a letter of recommendation. Thank you Karen for being side by side with me through this amazing ride.

Rosalie Andrade
My name is Rosalie Andrade, I am a part of the Bellflower High School graduating class of 2016. What motivates me the most is the support of my parents. They always give me the push I need to help me achieve a goal. Throughout the Young Legislators program I learned and experienced the behind the scenes of different major companies, and also the way that legislation affects businesses. My short term goal is to be able to graduate from Mount Saint Mary’s University with a Bachelor as a Registered Nurse. My long term goal would be to be able to work through Kaiser Permanente or to be able to become part of the Doctors without Borders program. I would like to thank my teacher Ms. Nicoletti for pushing me to partake in this program because it helped me to be open to new experiences and socialize with some amazing people from other schools apart of our 58th district.

Sophia Beshir
Everyday my source of motivation comes from my parents. Growing up as a first generation child in America, the struggle my parents endured gives me the strength to persevere at all times and essentially to be as successful as possible throughout my life. In the YL program, I mainly learned about how legislature is involved in many aspects of companies around the world and how they affect consumers on a daily basis. My short term goal is to get an internship next summer at the Google office in Venice. Also, I would like to study abroad during my freshman or sophomore year of college. My long term goal is to graduate Cal State Long Beach in 2020 and become a successful engineer or computer scientist (I can't decide). Lastly, I would like to thank the Assembly member for giving us this opportunity to expand our knowledge, meet new people, and help guide us into choosing a career path.

Stephanie Castaneda
The planet, innocent animals, and under-represented people motivate me to continue with my studies and beliefs in order to have a better ability to help them in the future. Throughout this program I learned that there are many other young leaders amongst us, who are too, very passionate and eager to brighten up the world with their care. One great way we can better our society and put our efforts forward is by becoming an Assemblymember. Some of my goals include earning a bachelor's degree in environmental science at UCI, attending law school, and thereafter becoming an Assemblymember. I would like to thank my parents, family, friends, teachers, and Cristina Garcia for allowing me this opportunity to grow.

Yulissa Cardenas
I attended Bell Gardens High School. My plan after high school is to attend Concordia University of Irvine. The Young Legislators has taught me the value of creating relationships with others and getting out of my comfort zone to get many things done. It has taught me to be more independent and get involved with the communities around me. My parents and my teachers inspire me to do better and never give up on any of my goals. I would like to thank Cristina Garcia for being a huge factor in the Young Legislators program, and above all my parents for taking and picking me up from the events. If it weren't for this program, I would not be so sure in what I want to do with my life.