Ambar Pinto poses with fellow ELPer Hugo Laina
Miss Ambar Pinto Gomez made history earlier this month as one of the first undocumented immigrants to be invited to the President’s annual State of the Union address. Miss Pinto is a graduate of Edu-Futuro’s Emerging Leaders Program (ELP), a college prep and leadership development initiative for Latino youth.
Miss Pinto, of Mexican and Bolivian heritage, arrived in the United States at the age of 12 and soon after joined ELP during her freshman year of high school as an ESL student. Miss Pinto participated in the program throughout her high school years and eventually became Edu-Futuro’s first youth Board member in 2009, a position she holds to this day.
“It is an honor to represent individuals and families who will benefit from immigration reform,” Miss Pinto said. “My dream has always been to contribute to the success of my home, the United States. Immigration reform will afford me this opportunity. I am grateful to everyone who has supported my dreams and I thank Senator Mark Warner for inviting me to be his special guest at the State of the Union.”
Miss Pinto is involved in a variety of organizations that support immigrant rights. This includes Dreamers of Virginia, an organization dedicated to educating the community and advocating for immigrant youth in Virginia. Miss Pinto is currently pursuing a business degree at Northern Virginia Community College.
What else have we been up to?
On January 23, 2013, Edu-Futuro held an ELP social for the program’s volunteers and mentors. This “Friendraiser” was designed to inspire and motivate our current volunteers and to recruit new ones. We had a great turnout for the event and as a result gained 16 prospective mentors for the program! The Hon. Walter Tejada, Chair of the Arlington County Board, was our guest speaker; Dr. Emma Violand-Sanchez, Chair of the Arlington Public Schools Board also attended the event at Guarapo Lounge.
Edu-Futuro organized a community forum for Latino parents in partnership with Arlington Public Schools on February 2, 2013. The forum was held at our Escuela Bolivia Program and was delivered to inform Latino parents about the 2014 School Year budget and to give them the opportunity to voice their feedback. The Superintendent of Arlington Public Schools (APS), Dr. Patrick Murphy attended the forum as did APS School Board Member James Lander. As a result, 28 Latino parents shared their opinions and are better informed about this important process.
Important upcoming events
The Emerging Leaders Program will be launching its spring 2013 session in early March. This semester we have a lot of exciting activities and events planned for both our Arlington and Falls Church program sites, including a trip to Richmond, Virginia for a campus tour of Virginia Commonwealth University. We hope to see you at our ELP graduation that will be held at the Arlington Central Library on Saturday, April 20th from 1:30pm-4pm. At this event, we will be awarding college scholarships to our students thanks to your support!
Save the date! Join us for our annual Talent Show and Gala on Wednesday, May 8th at the Artisphere in Rosslyn to celebrate our 15th year anniversary! We are currently looking for host committee members; these individuals will be listed in event materials and will be recognized at the event. Responsibilities include helping us recruit individuals to our event and helping us secure sponsorships. If you are interested in learning more about our event or joining our host committee, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
VCU Field Trip in Spring 2012