2018 Young Legislators

George Acosta

George AcostaThe Young Legislators Program taught me things like how to pass bills that can be turned into laws. I learned about some companies that do a great impact on our district like what they do to all the recycling and where it all goes. My favorite trip that I enjoyed the most would have to be the Coca - Cola factory because I was able to see firsthand the science behind making the drink. I also found out things about Coca- Cola that I didn't know before like how they owned so many different companies and even got to try freshly made coke that same day. My goals for next year is to be ready for college, maintain my GPA and keep on getting all the scholarships I could get. I am interested in going to Cal State Long Beach or UCLA and studying engineering and majoring in civil and electrical. I would like to thank my mom who helped me throughout this whole year of high school on making sure I was doing fine and well and thank my friends and dad who helped me push through rough training in the Martial Arts where I was finally able to get my first degree in being a Black Belt and qualifying into the Nationals.


Naheim Banks

Naheim BanksWhile I have gone on numerous college tours and been a part of various programs, UCLA stood out to me because they efficiently and effectively explain the college admissions process of not just their schools but other universities, go in depth about the individual characteristics that make each application unique, and the different colleges and organizations that encompass a university. UCLA has taught me that I am an INDIVIDUAL. Every college has an average GPA, an average class rank, an average SAT score, but what most fail to understand and preach is that everyone is different and everyone has a story. With those words of wisdom, I no longer look at myself as just a number or statistic, but as a person that needs to tell their story with me being the only one that can do so. During my senior year, I plan to apply to all of the UC’s, Cal State Long Beach, Cal State Fullerton as well as Howard University.


Bethany Cardona

Bethany CardonaIn the short span of the Youth Legislators Program, I have learned about the processing of what bills have to go through, how important it is to pursue a high education and if that's not the path for some people then I also learned the importance of securing a good trade job that will benefit oneself. I personally liked the trip to UCLA the most because I am going to college out of state so visiting the ones inside California was a nice experience. I plan on attending Washington State University and will be majoring in Civil Engineering. I would also like to thank my family and friends for helping me and pushing me to come to where I am and helping me accomplish all that I did this year.

Lexy Castillo Rodriguez

Lexy Castillo RodriguezThrough the young legislator program, I have learned the importance of business in a community because they play a huge part in making a community what it is. The trip I enjoyed the most was visiting Metro stations looking at their art and visiting headquarters because Metro has many influences in our communities in LA County. My goal for the next year is to start senior year and finish the best possible way I can. I plan to apply to many east coast universities especially Penn State, where I hope to attend and study Criminology and/or Criminal Justice because I eventually want to go into the FBI. I want to thank my family for their constant support in everything I do. 


Kevin Chavarria

Kevin ChavarriaI learned a lot during the legislature program academically and gave us YL’s a view on different opportunities in careers. The trip I enjoyed the most was at Metro LA because of the history of the art that very little people know about. My goal for next year to improve on myself and find out what I’m interested in for a career. The people I’d like to thank are the people that supported me the most which are my parents, grandparents, and siblings.


Ryan Chiang

Ryan ChiangThe Young Legislators Program has taught me much about the interaction between businesses and citizens and our state government. It has allowed me to see views that I would not be able to see staying at home and gain new perspectives and insights into the importance of many institutions and how they fit into politics and our normal lives. I especially enjoyed the trip to SA recycling and being able to learn about their integral role, working with the government instead of around, in helping deal with waste and their large scale efforts to be an environmentally friendly business. I am utterly grateful to Assm. Garcia and her team for creating this opportunity for teens to be able to learn about businesses, issues, and other factors that affect their communities and without it I would certainly be in the dark about all the stuff that happens sometimes literally down the street from where we live. My current plans for the future are to continue trying to get good grades in school and to hopefully complete my college applications in time and uneventfully. I plan to go to a 4 year college, and get a degree in Economics or Political Science. My current career aspirations are somewhat more undefined, but I'm considering becoming an economist or even a high school teacher. Lastly, I would especially like to thank my parents and family for continuing to provide their unwavering support with my academic and extracurricular endeavors, and I know if I did not have that support, I would not be in this amazing program.


Jesus Gonzalez

Jesus GonzalezBeing part of the Young Legislators Program it created and develops a new way of thinking of how certain companies work and its history. Having to ride the metro train made it one of the best trips that I enjoyed the most because wit was my very first time riding with metro. In my career I will be attending California State University of Long Beach with a Spanish and phycology major with my masters. I would like to thank my Parents and family members that help me to graduate. I am thankful to Ms. Nicolleti for introducing this program to the Bellflower students and Edgar for accepting me in this program. I hope for the best for all and good luck in our academics. 


Eugene Ho

Eugene HoThe Young Legislators Program has taught me about the experiences of others outside of my very narrow little bubble of a world. It has broadened my horizons and opened my eyes to new opportunities that I had not even considered before. The trip that I enjoyed the most was the one to the IBEW 11 because it made me consider paths other than the traditional high school into college one. My goals for next year are to finally finish the creative projects that I have begun, improve my (admittedly terrible) lifestyle, and finish my high school career on a strong note. I will be finishing up high school at Whitney High School next year and majors I am most interested in are sociology, psychology, and political science. My career goal is just one in which I can interact with and help people on a daily basis. Along with the people who ran the Young Legislators Program, I would also like to thank my school's college and career counselor for informing me of this wonderful opportunity and my parents for providing transportation and never-ending support.


Claire Lee

Claire LeeEver since I was little, I was inspired by the United Nations and amazed at all of their achievements. I decided to join Model United Nations at my school and am currently entering my fourth year in the program. Before conferences and on weekends, I find myself researching and learning about international issues or listening to interesting TED talks or podcasts. Throughout the week, I enjoy running with my Cross Country and Track team, volunteering through Key Club, and serving with my Christian Club. In my free time, I go on hikes, practice the guitar and take trips to the beach. I have a lot of experience working with younger kids so I absolutely love little children. Aside from all of these activities, I have dedicated a meager, yet incredibly significant portion of my time to the Young Legislators Program. I have learned so much about the impact of various companies, organizations, and institutions that make a huge difference in our lives, here in the 58th district of California! It has been incredible to see the immense growth in my mental, physical, and spiritual self, and I am looking toward the growth that is to come.


John Liang

John LiangDuring my time as a young legislator, I have experienced many opportunities that I would not have experienced without this program. For example, my favorite experience is the two-day trip to Sacramento, where I got to learn how the state government works and how lobbyists defend companies. I will be attending University of California, Irvine in the fall with an Engineering-Undeclared major. I thank the Young Legislators, Edgar Estrada, Rida Hamida, and Cristina Garcia for making this journey very memorable. Furthermore, I encourage people who seek more experience to join this program because this program gives special opportunities that most people cannot experience. 


Jose Lopez

Jose LopezWhat I have learned from young legislators program, really narrows down to two major things. How important the public is in making new policies and how passionate the people like Christina Garcia are regarding their beliefs. The trip which I enjoyed the most was the SA recycling trip, it really gave me an insight on how recycling works and how cars are broken down and used for new cars etc. Next year I aspire to attend UCLA as a freshman and pursue a major in Engineering and end up working possibly owning my own firm after I graduate. I would like to thank My family for every achievement I have been blessed with, they support me and only push me to better myself and its something ill always cherish.


Natalie Lopez

Natalie LopezI learned the important role that State government plays in our society. Before YLP, I wasn’t aware of how impactful it is to be in charge of a California District. I enjoyed the trip to Coca Cola most because I found it so interesting to see the process of how the sofa was made. Tasting fresh Coca Cola was also a really cool experience. Next year, I will be attending the University of California, San Diego to major in Aerospace Engineering. My goals here are to continue my volunteer work and hopefully find an internship or position within my major. I would like to thank my parents for keeping up with all the projects that I am interested in and for always supporting my future. 


Dorothy Lu

Dorothy LuWhile I’ve always considered local and state level government to be minimally important in our everyday lives, I saw just how wrong I was. Through every trip that we had, I opened my eyes to the striking variety of people from different backgrounds and the impact that each of them had on the community as well as the impact the community had on them. My favorite trip was the one we took to METRO, as this gave me a deeper appreciation not only for public transport, but also for the investment METRO has taken in art and establishing itself as a patron of meaningful art in Los Angeles. Next year, I will be a senior at Cerritos High School and my goals for next year include graduating high school, and studying economics at college. Eventually, I’d like to be a lawyer. I would like to thank my parents for supporting me in everything I do.


Itzel Maravilla

Itzel MaravillaThrough the Young Legislators Program I learned how local government works and the impact regular citizens can have in it. I realized the difficulty in passing bills and the process in order to get it done. My favorite trip was to the IBEW Local 11, I enjoyed this trip because it showed me how there really is a lot of different choices one can make to be successful. I admired how they believe in giving people second chances and teaching them how to do something so that they have a job and can lead good lives. My plans for the next school year are to attend Cal State San Marcos and major in accounting; I will be living in an apartment off campus. I would like to thank my family for always helping me be my best. A special thanks to my three younger siblings for always pushing me to be my best, I work hard in order to set a good example for them.


Anna Minasyan

Anna MinasyanThis past year in the Young Legislators program I have come to learn about the many different facets of lawmakers’ interactions with their constituents. I have learned about the different interests that district businesses and programs maintain and the district representative’s responsibility to meet those interests so long as it is in the benefit of the community. I have come to realize that a big part of the interactions between lawmakers and districts is their ability to compromise to uphold the expectations and needs of their constituents. The most rewarding trip of this year was our visit to Metro. The Metro is one of the most underrated resources of the area and through this trip I saw the amount of maintenance and planning the entire operation requires. The Metro is for the people and that is made apparent by the many aspects of the public space such as the unique art that is meant to illustrate the Los Angeles experience. My plans for next year are to end my high school career at Schurr with a set path to my top school, Brown University, and continue playing tennis, writing for the school paper and participating in student government, among other things. I would like to thank my mother and father for allowing me to open whichever door I feel is best for me and for giving me their unwavering support in my decisions. I would also like to thank my brother, Hovik, for being the one I go to for realistic advice. Thank you for keeping me grounded yet optimistic.


Ananya Narayanan

Ananya NarayananThe Young Legislators Program has not only taught me about the legislative process and the actions of our representatives, but has also showed me the connection between the state government and local organizations. I have also enjoyed meeting other bright and driven people who inspire me with their goals and who are ready to make change. During the program, I most enjoyed the trip to the LA Metro because it was a unique experience that allowed us to see the artwork and history behind the metro. Over the course of next year, I will continue to work hard in my senior year and stay active in my community. I will be applying to public and private universities and I hope to pursue a major in international relations. 


Emily Nava

Emily NavaThe Young Legislators Program taught me the different aspects of politics and the government. It is more than bills and laws; it is economics, business, and much more. For the next school year, I will be attending California State University, Los Angeles and majoring in political science in hopes to become an immigration lawyer or government teacher. I'd like to thank my parents for always supporting me and being my source of transportation for this program, my friends for their never ending support, and Edgar and Rida for always believing and wanting the best for us. 


Chinemerem Nwanze

Chinemerem NwanzeThe Young Legislators Program taught me that the future is truly in the hands of the youth. Visiting various corporations, learning more about industries that aren't typically advertised, and making new friends through this program showed me that if my generation continues to voice opinions and stays active within our communities, we can show the world that we have the power to change society. My favorite trip was the Coca - Cola meeting because not only did I learn about how one of the most iconic companies in the world does its best to serve the environment / women, I got to taste freshly made soda and took a 'model photograph' with Naheim that ended up on Assemblymember Garcia's Instagram! After my senior year, I hope to attend either the University of San Francisco or UCLA as a psychology major with a minor in African Studies, international relations, or economics. I would like to thank my mom and dad for supporting me every step of the way as I did this program and my Auntie Adaora, who encouraged me to apply. I would also like to thank Edgar and Rida for their hard work and for their leadership advice. All in all, Young Legislators was a program that exposed me to once in a lifetime opportunities and I'm so grateful I was a part of it.  


Pearl Pham

Pearl PhamBeing in Young Legislators has really taught me many things about helping my community. Before this program I wasn’t aware of all the things that I could do to help make my city a better place for me and everyone else. Personally, my favorite trip was the Metro meeting. It was really interesting to see how factors of art and culture are woven into this company and how they bring the community closer together with these factors. My goals for next year are to graduate high school and (hopefully) get accepted into CalARTS. I want to major in graphic design and video editing for media and advertisements. I would like to thank parents for supporting me every step of the way, and as well as my friends for also supporting me through everything.


Michelle Raygoza

Michelle RaygozaThe Young Legislators Program has taught me a lot about the legislative process, how to network with people, and the many industries that California has. I enjoyed our trip to Metro the most because our tour guide showed us a lot of small details found in the Metro station that a lot of people do not realize are there. I will be attending Cal State Long Beach in the fall as a Political Science major. I intend to transfer into UCLA, earn a Law degree, and become an attorney. I would like to thank Cristina Garcia and her staff for making such a great program available to high school students.


Andres Romero

Andres RomeroI have learned through the YL program just how intertwined our daily life is with the world of politics. The Sacramento was my favorite trip, and it was truly the experience of a lifetime. This coming fall I will be attending Cerritos College where I will work towards transferring to a four year. In the past I have always said I'd like to work for the government in some way, and that has not changed after this program. I would like to thank X for my achievements this past year.


Luz Romo

Luz RomoI’m going to be a Pre-Kinesiology major at CSULB this fall, but I might switch into nursing depending on how I like my classes. Hopefully my future career would be either a physical therapist that specializes with athletes or a nurse. Being in Christina Garcia’s Young Legislators Program has opened my eyes on how companies, organizations, and unions have a great impact on our daily life but as well as our future. My most memorable trip so far is when we went the Coca Cola plant in Downey because the whole facility is like being in a Tardifs from the TV show Doctor Who, where the inside is way bigger than the outside. You also get to experience the whole adventure of how a can or a bottle of soda gets to be assembled before it gets shipped, plus it’s great how they do everything that they can to be eco-friendly and to give back to the Earth. I lastly want to thank my mom, dad, and sister who deeply encouraged me to be involved in this program and for supporting me through every step of the way. I love you guys with all my heart :)


Alana Rubin

Alana RubinYL taught me how government and business companies collaborate and operate together to ensure a good-natured district. Through the program, I was able to discover the importance of being involved in the community in order to be aware of what many citizens overlook and take advantage of. I am grateful that I took this opportunity to be a part of YL because I established a better understanding of the fundamentals of our community and how I can contribute as a civilian. Our trip to IBEW Local 11 is my favorite because it was the most informative experience I had, learning about work unions, internship opportunities, and how big of an impact they bring to our district. This upcoming fall, I will be attending Cal State Long Beach and I will strive towards acquiring a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Along with striving academically, I will participate in ways to be more involved at CSULB. I would like to thank my parents who have and always will believe in me and guide me in the right direction, my best friend who never stops supporting me, my boyfriend who motivates me to do my best and my civics teacher who introduced to me this distinguished program.


Laney Sanchez

Laney SanchezWhat I learned from the Young Legislators Program is exploring and building relationships. I learned that you need to explore new options to gain more knowledge of what you want for yourself and future. Moreover, building relationships is important because it helps the person gain skills and resources that will help them strengthen. My favorite trip was the most recent one because I experienced the dorming life of a college student and the best part was creating a closer bond with a handful of my peers. My goal is to attend UC Davis this fall majoring in Political Science to help me develop my career of becoming state senator. I would like to take a moment and thank my mother Beverly for always pushing me to do best because without her I would not be where I currently am. To conclude, I also want to thank my stepfather for being my cheerleader through this journey.


Miguel Sanchez

Miguel SanchezI learned from the Young Legislators program how the state works to provide the best needs to Californians. My favorite trip was to UCLA because I was able to see first-hand the campus and what it consisted of. In the future I hope to attend Yale University and major in Political Science to be a lawyer. I want to thank my mother, father and grandma for their continued support, I would be nothing without them.



Erick Silva

Erik SilvaIn the past months as a Young Legislator I had the opportunity to visit diverse institutions around my community and learn about their respected aspects when speaking about their motivation and reasons for being established. Additionally, I learned about different resources that are available to the community that never crossed my mind. One trip I enjoyed the most was the trip to Union Station where Metro gave us a presentation on the educational opportunities they have for college graduates in the transportation business. Frankly, the metro rail, Union Station, and the executive representatives entailed key aspects that separated the three experiences, even if it was all just in one day and constrained in a few hours. Ultimately, I enjoyed the experience greatly and my goals for next year are to be much more involved in my community, whether it be through community service with a group or on my own. Hopefully, I will get accepted into UCLA to study Biology (indeed it is not related to legislation), incorporating myself into the pre-med pathway. From this experience I take away many lessons, but the main thing is that there is always something in the world someone can do to improve a community.


Muhammad Talha

Muhammad TalhaThere were a lot of things I learned along the way. I thought I cannot go to big University like UCLA, USC or Stanford due to large amount of tuition fee. But when we went to UCLA tour they told us they have seen people paying zero fees for all years and graduating. Now I'm going community college for two years and then get a transfer to University like Oxford or Harvard. Besides all this it was a great opportunity for me to meet new people and gain some confidence. Not only this, program was related to government stuff, which influenced me a lot about politics. And, even my major in college is now political science.


Jasmine Topete

Jasmine TopeteThe Young Legislators Program taught me about the entire process of legislation from passing a bill to making it into a law. I was able to learn about Assemblymember Cristina Garcia and what she does for our communities. The trip that I enjoyed the most was visiting the Coca-Cola factory in Downey because I got to see how large corporations work. During this visit, I even got the opportunity to taste a fresh coke. My goals for next year are to prepare for college by taking SAT prep classes, completing college applications, continuing to get good grades and passing my AP exams. I am interested in attending Hawaii pacific University and majoring in Political Science and environmental science. I would like to thank the Assembly Members for letting me be a part of this program and teaching me more about the importance of politics.


Mahnoor Uraizee

Mahnoor UraizeeI’ve learned how people work together as a team, like in a session for passing a bill or to not pass it. There’s a committee that works together as a team to convey as many people as they can to the best of their abilities to get people to vote. Also how there’s more aspects to a soda can than I thought there was. There’s small components such as the lid for it, aluminum for the can or glass, the liquid in it, chemicals being used...it all has to be discussed and passed before it can all become something.I learned the breakdown of that and was able to see how a lobbyist performed their job through that. I enjoyed the Metro trip and the Sacramento trip. My goals for next year are to get my AA in Nursing from Cerritos College and then to transfer into UCI or Cal State Long Beach and get my Masters in Psychology. I plan on becoming a Neo Natal Nurse or Pediatric Nurse. I would definitely like to thank my mom and my dad for these achievements for the past year and I wouldn’t have been able to get an opportunity to see what I got to see and experience throughout this program without their extra push.


Hugo Vera

Hugo VeraI have learned from the Young Legislators program about so many different things. If I were too narrow it down the most important thing I learned is how vital local and state government is important to our businesses and industries. There are bills that are being voted on and if we don’t agree with them then we can vote no and make a change. The trip that I enjoyed the most was the metro. I enjoyed it because I always thought that metro was just a form of transportation but really they contributed a lot to the history of Hollywood in the murals and different paintings that you see at the station. It really expanded my knowledge. My goals for next year for Cal State Los Angeles is to major in Political Science. I would like to become an attorney that specializes in immigration issues. I would like to thank my parents for motivating me and encouraging me all year. I would also like to thank this program especially because it really helped me realize how important the role government plays in our local businesses and understanding the process of a bill.


Haya Villarreal

Haya VillarrealBy being in the YL program I learned that making laws can take a very long time and use a lot of energy. My favorite trip was when we used the Metro because I learned that they are very involved in art. Next year I plan on graduating high school and study veterinary science. I would like to thank my siblings and my mom for always encouraging me to try something new.