Take a Minute of Your Time and Please Congratulate Our 2012 Youth Fellows
Washington, DC (August 13, 2012).- The National Dominican American Council and Dominican American National Roundtable’s 2012 National Youth Fellowship Program successfully concluded its first part in Washington, DC this summer.
Eight Dominican American students from around the United States spent a week of intense training in Washington, D.C. from July 22 to July 29, 2012.
“Securing funding to identify and train these young advocate leaders is a priority to me, our board of directors and the National Dominican American Council,” said Dr. Maria Teresa Montilla, President of the Dominican American National Roundtable. “They and dozens of others, are the ones we have been training along the past years; the ones we will be passing the torch to in the near future. They will ensure the short and longterm success of organizations like DANR and the National Dominican American Council (NDAC).”
“I’m incredibly proud and privileged to have worked with such a distinguished group of young Dominican American Leaders during the 2012 Youth Fellowship Program,” said Maria Moreno, DANR Youth President and Director of the Fellowship Program. ”The NYFP has provided them with the opportunity to meet with key people, such as activists, elected officials and administration staff and learn about current issues affecting Latinos in the US and ways to advocate and become agents of change in their own communities. Furthermore, this program is a clear pipeline building a network of young professionals ready and capable to create positive change and become the leaders of today!”
Program’s theme this year was: Civic Engagement Leading the Next Generation.
This training brought together college students of Dominican descent both at the undergraduate and graduate levels who are interested in taking on leading roles in becoming agents of change in their communities though civic engagement.
DANR Fellows engaged a week-long leadership development training in Washington, D.C. where they learned about the current state of policies affecting the Latino community and how to take action towards reform throughout a series of workshops, events, site visits, and congressional visits, and project development.
In the fall of 2012, fellows will then participate in advocacy projects for 12 weeks where they will put forth their training and knowledge into practice. The list of projects includes self-produced community workshops, a DANR.org online newsletter initiative on topics such as education and literacy, housing, immigration, economic development and others.
“Take a minute of your time and please congratulate our 2012 youth fellows,” said Wilson Rosa, Co-Director of DANR National Fellowship Program. “Please send your thoughts and congratulations to email@example.com”.
This year the program was made possible thanks to the generous support of Dr. Maria Teresa Montilla, the Ford Motor Company Fund, VOXXI.COM, VICINI, the City University of New York and the National Dominican American Council.
National Youth Fellowship Program
2012 Fellows Biographies
Joel Cabrera, Bronx Community College, Bronx, NY
During my stay at Bronx Community College I was very engaged in various student organizations. I was an active student leader in student government and was well known throughout the campus as a social and well rounded person. I enjoy being of service to others, it is my passion to help others as much as I can to make this world a better place to live in for all. I am of Dominican background and enjoy the Dominican culture in many ways. I am thankful to be chosen as a 2012 DANR fellow and look forward to the personal and professional growth.
Stephanie Estevez, Brooklyn, NY
Attends: St. Joseph’s College
Mayor: Public Biology. Minor: Spanish
I come from a big family; I’m the youngest of the five children. My parents both migrated to the U>S. at a young age and met in Manhattan where I was born. However I was raised in Brooklyn and that is currently where I live.
Ever since I was in elementary I’ve wanted to be a Doctor. This desire led me to choose a high school with a program for health professions. A passion for helping others has motivated me to do community service and to develop my leadership skills. As a freshman I participated in a trip to New Orleans to help Hurricane Katrina victims and it was one of the best experiences that I’ve had in college. I became involved in Student Government by serving on the executive board of clubs such as Science, student alumni association and the Hispanic awareness club this collective experience has shown me the meaning of team work. One of my most resent accomplishments is the establishment of the first national sorority at my college. It was a long journey but the women that I met and the friends that I have made have made it all worth while.
Johanny Lopez, Miami, FL
Attends: Georgetown University
Major: Science Technology & International Affairs. Minors: Business Growth & Development
Born and raised in the Dominican Republic, Johanny moved to the United Stated with her family in 2005. Johanny has come a long way as an immigrant to this country. As an English Language Learner, Johanny excelled academically and was her high school valedictorian. A finalist of the Univision Academic Scholarship in Premios Juventud 2011, Johanny had the privilege to represent Dominicans nationally. Johanny currently attends Georgetown University hoping to gain knowledge, skills and experience to help her community. Johanny believes that pursuing bachelors in Foreign Service and International Economics in Georgetown University will give her the expertise she needs. At Georgetown, Johanny is involved in activities that represent her culture and help underprivileged communities. As the chair of community service of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars at Georgetown, Johanny wants to help youth excel academically in College and high school.
Johanny is determined to succeed academically and to take advantage of all the opportunities she is offered. This determination comes from her desire to help underprivileged communities both in the United States and the Dominican Republic.
Lissette Ortiz, Bronx, NY
Attends: CUNY- Medgar Evers College
Mayor: Public Administration
I grew up in a low-socio-economic neighborhood in the Dominican Republic. Despite my surroundings, my desire to become a better individual was more powerful than anything. While living in the South Bronx I have observed that the world is hungry for change, my plight is so intertwined with the people of the South Bronx that I have decided to major in Public Administration.
Being a New York Needs You Fellow has provided me with the opportunity to learn how to navigate the professional world and to build my professional network and this has opened me the doors to many opportunities. I had the opportunity to intern at City Councilman Fernando Cabrera’s office during the spring of 2012 .As an intern I was involved in several aspects of district office work including housing organizing, legislative research, and constituent services. As a New York State Senate Model, I was able to further my knowledge about the New York State political and legislation processes by debating about Hydrocracking. I am currently interning at the Bronx Borough President Office as a public policy intern, I work closely doing research to improve the education pipeline in the Bronx. This has been a unique asset in my journey as a public advocate; it has also shape my view on education, as the main force to further advance as a nation.
Having the opportunity to be part of National Youth Fellowship program is an important step in this quest to address the pressing problems in my community. I am particularly motivated to improve my leadership and communication skills to compliment my community sensitivity and cultural experience to make more informed decisions as an effective public steward
Jaynice Del Rosario, Wesleyan University, New York, NY
My name is Jaynice Del Rosario and I am 23 years old. I was born in the Dominican Republic on July 17, 1988. I was Daniel and Nieve’s first child, and my welcome to the world included a huge celebration and pouring rain that signified good luck. At the age of almost 3 I came to the United States. I was a sassy, opinionated, and loud 3 year old that loved performing Fernandito Villalona’s “Delirante Amor” in the living room for my entire family. According to my mother I spoke so clearly by the age of 3 that people always marveled at my age when I spoke. I was my mom and dad’s single pride and joy until my brother Danielito was born in 1992 and my sister Jennifer was born in 1993.
I took my confidence with me to Public School 106 where I began my educational career in Kindergarten. I was competitive and enjoyed a challenge. At 106 I thrived and went on to Middle School 180 in Co op City where I had to audition to be admitted. MS 180 was a middle school for the arts, and there I practiced drama/acting and vocal. In the 8th grade I tested into the single Honors Class available at the school, and I thrived. I later went on to high school, which was anything but a walk in the park. I attended an under funded school in the South Bronx that was crowded and was not conducive to learning. Despite the challenges I faced in high school, I was co-captain of a stellar robotics team, I went to Mali, West Africa to help build an elementary school, and I earned the valedictorian award upon graduation. My academic success led me to Wesleyan University where I spent 4 wonderful years and where I worked helping admit students of color like myself. That work led me to the work I do today as a College Access Adviser at the Bronx Institute. I am committed to improving education in our communities, and I thoroughly enjoy what I do.
Amanda Ramirez, Boston University, Providence, RI
The key to success comes from within. My name is Amanda Ramirez and I am a 21 year old female from Providence, Rhode Island. I am Dominican American (first generation) and am the first in my family to go to college. This fall I will be a senior at Boston University and I could not be more excited to graduate in order to continue on my ambitious journey. At a very young age and on, I learned the importance of education and being a well-rounded student. When I was younger not only did I perform well in school but I also played the piano, violin, basketball, took acting classes and singing classes. Although I pretty much channeled my passion into basketball (still play today), I immediately realized that I was capable of doing anything that I put my mind to.
With that kind of strong mentality, I attended an elite college preparatory high school by the name of Moses Brown on a full ride. I am now at Boston University basically on a full ride as well. I just finished studying abroad in Sydney, Australia where I took classes and did an internship at the Australian Rugby Union. Not only did I travel and really became a part of their culture, but I also remained focused and made Dean’s List. I know education can and will take me as far as I want to go and my hard work thus far has proven that to me. I am on an unstoppable path to success fueled by motivation, ambition, and dedication.
Massiel Sepulveda, Clifton, NJ
Attends: New York University
Mayor: French & Politics
I was born in the Dominican Republic, and moved to the US with my family when I was 7 years old. I currently study at New York University, with a double-major in Politics and French literature & culture. These interests stem from my love of languages and different cultures, which developed while growing up in a completely bilingual environment, speaking and writing in both English and Spanish. I am constantly grateful for this upbringing because my roots and my culture are very important to me and also because my background has paved the way for many wonderful experiences in my life. I had the opportunity to apply my skills to the field of translation, where I was awarded a Dean’s Undergraduate Research Fund grant from NYU to work with translation students from the University of Granada. During the course of several months and a week of intensive translation work at the University of Granada in Spain, we translated a small anthology of poems by the contemporary Granadian poet, Antonio Carvajal.
Most recently I worked with LitWorld, an international non-profit based in New York City. LitWorld promotes childhood literacy in various parts of the world through the creation of “LitClubs” which create safe, positive environments for children and teens to interact and develop a love and appreciation for literacy and education. I translated the 14-day curriculum for future Spanish-language LitClubs in places like Peru, where work is underway to create the first of these Latin America, and also with the Children’s Village in New York City. In addition to translating this curriculum to Spanish from its original English, I spent 5 months volunteering with LitWorld’s “Foundation for Literate Youth” program at the Polo Grounds in Harlem, here I helped tutor young teens from the surrounding schools.
Franklin Ventura, Newark, NJ
Attends: Essex County College
Major: Marketing. Minor: Spanish
Franklin Ventura was born in the capital of Dominican Republic known as Santo Domingo, on December 31, 1984. He was raise in Cibao city of Nagua. He was raised by his aunt and uncle Felix Tavera and Flora Ventura, who took him in as their own. At a very young age he had a certain interest in dealing with people and helping people who were less fortunate then he was which at that time he was in a very unfortunate situation. He went to schools in very poor conditions until the age of seventeen. At that age he was brought to the U.S.A by his biological father in order for him to have a chance to have a better education and future.
Franklin Ventura is a nowadays example of will and determination, going against all odds to achieve his goal. He wants to become the best at everything he does, because he wants to give the world the best that he has to give. While in Essex County College, he was the cofounder of several groups which are active and striving still today. One of the groups was DSA (Dominican Student Association). Also Franklin Ventura is the owner of easybook911.com a Website that sells College and University textbooks.
Franklin Ventura is still active member of this group and Vice President. In 2011 he graduated Essex County College in Liberal Arts and now going for his bachelor for Marketing and Economics in Jersey City University. He was also the cofounder of the “Millionaires Club LLC” a group dedicated to the betterment of themselves mentally, spiritually, and physically, so that they may succeed financially.