Years ago, when Dr. Vân Truong and I imagined the very first International Youth Leadership Conference, we dreamed of creating a day where all Emergent Bilinguals across PPS would be honored.
We envisioned a day that celebrates our students remarkable stories and their leadership. In many ways, this conference symbolizes global unity. A welcoming space where all of our racial and linguistic assets, as well as our various countries/cultures of origin, are valued and appreciated.
I have very fond memories of planning our first IYLC. We knew that our students would truly value an opportunity to connect with civic and community leaders who have shared similar experiences in this country. More importantly, we have seen the impact that these role models have had by inspiring our EBs to seek more opportunities to engage with their school communities.
I must give credit to all of the students, staff and administrators who have worked so hard to shape the vision and reality of our 6th annual conference. Their passion and effort have shaped this magical event in more ways than I could have ever imagined.
Thank you for being here today and I am delighted to share this special day with all of you. Mils Gracias
Ana Wu was born in Guangdong China and when she was 6 years old, her family immigrated to Mexico. Ana started her schooling in Mexico until she and her family moved to Portland in 2008. While at Franklin H.S., Ana was an original member our very first IYLC High School Leadership Council. She is currently pursuing studies at PSU to become a bilingual teacher in the future.
A senior at Cleveland High School, Pete Za was born in a refugee camp in Thailand, where his family had escaped from Myanmar during the Civil War. He came to the US with his family in 2008, at the age of 8. Now a valedictorian, and partial IB candidate at Cleveland, Peter was awarded a $25,000 Bridging the Dream scholarship for a college of his choice.
Master Class Presenter
Born in Korea and raised in Seattle, violinist- looper and vocalist Joe Kye has drawn rave reviews since launching his music career in 2013, “discharging world[s] of emotion” and delivering “divine messages” with his lush string loops and eclectic style (Guitar World). Drawing upon his migrant upbringing, Kye blends indie-rock, jazz, classical, pop, and world folk to create a unique sound that “leaves everyone in awe” (Sac News and Review). With his innovative use of digital effects and looping, Kye weaves together diverse textures, catchy melodies, and rich, sweet vocals to create songs that groove, uplift, and empower listeners: "A single violinist...one mesmerizing symphony" (Sacramento Bee).
After studying music and culture at Yale University, Kye left a career as a high school educator to pursue music full-time. Following the release of his acclaimed 2015 EP, Joseph in the Well, Kye toured the United States with performances opening for world-renown cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Senator Bernie Sanders, along with a nationally broadcast performance on NPR’s Science Friday.
Previous collaborations include the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, the Sacramento Ballet, Alvin Ailey Composer/Percussionist William Catanzaro, and LA hip-hop artist Jason Chu. Kye has performed in venues like Benaroya Hall (Seattle), Community Center Theater (TEDx Sacramento), the Legislative Back-To-Session Bash (California), NAMM MainStage (Anaheim), the Baryshnikov Arts Center (NYC), and the White House. Kye is a Fishman and Neunaber Audio Effects sponsored artist, and has studied violin with Marjorie Kransberg-Talvi, John Kim, and Jim Mihara.