These days there are many opportunities for students seeking guidance and direction. In addition to our counselors at Clovis High School — working with students n academics, as well as careers — another great source of student help can be found on campus: Adrian White, Community Education & Resource Development liaison, or, as White suggests, “the short version: Higher Ed Coordinator for ENLACE” is located at CHS, and his office is a revolving door.
Recently interviewing White in the classroom in which he, and several others work, he shared some recent events in which students had participated. Although “ENLACE” is an acronym that stands for “ENgaging LAtino Communities for Education” (http://enlacenm.unm.edu), it is a statewide collaborative body that has since crossed ethnic lines to “increase the high school and college retention and graduation rates of students around the state,” partnering with both institutions of higher education, as well as pubic school districts.
There are an extensive range of programs available to that end, one of which is the annual ENLACE New Mexico Legislative internship. This week-long opportunity is the most recent that White described, “designed to give students … an extraordinary experience at the NM State Capital …l earning about government at the state level.”
To participate in the Legislative internship, students must go through the application process, which includes essay writing, letter of recommendation, and several other requirements.
Two students from the Clovis Schools district were accepted and participated in this week-long internship in Santa Fe: Le Nghia Thai (called Teo) from the CHS Freshman Academy and Jesus D. Santos, sophomore at CHS (who also happens to be participating in the People to People Ambassador program in Washington, D.C., this summer). These two students shadowed, respectively, Rep, Nora Espinoza, District 59; Sens. Cliff Pirtle from District 32; and Gerald P. “Jerry” Ortiz y Pino, District 12.
After an extensive orientation upon arrival, these students shadowed their assigned representative or senator and, by actively participating in this process, gained a unique perspective of the workings of the government and legislative process. White was quite impressed with these students, commenting on their very professional demeanor and comportment, as well as marveling at how articulate they were as well. The week was a great success.
White, working together with Sylvia Montaño, director of ENLACE-Eastern Region, shared information about additional programs and successes.
Coming up this summer is the ENLACE Law Camp 2013 for sixth- and seventh-graders. This will be held at the University of New Mexico, and students will be able to tour courthouses, learn from actual lawyers, and actually present a trial in front of a real judge, and more.
Interestingly, during the interview with White, a young lady escorted in a student new to the district who was seeking math help from one of the tutors present in the room. White gave her a thumbs-up; she grinned and said, “I knew this was the right place, because you always help kids, Mr. White.”
Can’t top that quote.
Cindy Kleyn-Kennedy is the instructional technology coordinator for the Clovis Municipal Schools and can be reached at