Today, at our 5th annual International Youth Leadership Conference, we celebrate each of you. We honor your racial, cultural and linguistic contributions to making Portland Public Schools, our community, and our country all beautiful places to live, thrive and learn.
I recognize that this is a time of political unrest and fear for many of our immigrant students and their families. But even now, the a rming words of President Obama remind us all that “the stereotypes about immigrants today were said, almost word for word, about the
Irish, Italians, and Poles. America wasn’t weakened by the presence of these newcomers; they embraced this nation’s creed, and it was strengthened. Each of our fellow citizens loves this country just as much as we do; they value hard work and family like we do; their children are just as curious and hopeful and worthy of love as our own.”
That is the American legacy that previous generations of immigrants from across the world have left you, and what Obama exhorts us all to continue to build.
And so today, I say to each of you, ”Welcome. We are so glad you are here. You matter. It is your experiences, leadership and contributions to our collective whole that will positively in uence our country’s future.”
The IYLC is for you and about you. Let us welcome old friends, and strengthen and uplift new acquaintances. May you all feel inspired, validated and uplifted by everything the day has in store.
And to all of our partners at Portland State University, our presenters and exhibitors, our PPS sta and the many volunteers from our community that have all collaborated and contributed to make today’s event possible, I say, “Mils Gracias.” - Veronica Magallanes Senior Director, English as a Second Language Department
Keynote SpeakersRuben Estrada-HerreraWarner Pacifc CollegeIYLC HS Council Cohort I - Cuba
Ruben was quick to nd his calling as one of original Council members. He wasted no time in using his training to seek out resources and information for his fellow ESL Students at Grant High School through creation of a tutoring center. His commitment to service earned him an Act Six Scholarship to Warner Paci c University in Portland, Oregon.
Benson High School
IYLC HS Council Cohort IV - Syria
With an abundance of enthusiasm and appreciation for every opportunity to grow, Sara has taken on a “lead by example” role for her ESL peers at Benson High School. She was recognized by her colleagues for the positive energy that she displays as she advocates for improved outcomes for ESL Students and promotes the Council work.
Portland State University
IYLC HS Council Cohort I - Nepal
In our very first year, Nabin was instrumental in setting the example of owning/sharing his story while applying thoughtful analysis of the challenges facing ESL Students at Cleveland High School. He is currently expanding his leadership training in his second year as a Diversity Scholarship Program recipient at Portland State University.