2015 Da Vinci FUN Leadership Conference
The Da Vinci student council program offers unique opportunities for members to stay active in their community throughout the summer. Fifteen student council members recently attended the 2nd Annual For Unity Now (FUN) Youth Leadership Conference, sponsored by the Ocotillo Institute for Social Justice, June 25th & 26th at the Dona Ana Community College in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The leadership conference’s main goal and objective was to provide participants the “opportunity to learn the tools to improve the community.” The conference trained Da Vinci students to become leaders in the community through fun, engaging, and interactive activities that included art, poetry, film, dance, sidewalk chalk mural, culinary art, garden art, and engineering projects. Students also participated in career readiness boot camps, bullying prevention workshops, and water conservation seminars. Da Vinci School for Science and Arts had the distinction of being the only school out of El Paso to be invited to the conference. The camp organizers were so impressed with the student council members that they are considering moving the conference closer to El Paso next year in order to get more DV students to participate. The Ocotillo Institute for Social Justice hopes to continue to build on the working relationship with Da Vinci by collaborating on several projects throughout the year. The Da Vinci students had a wonderful time at the conference and were saddened to see it come to an end but ultimately took comfort in the fact they indeed acquired the necessary tools to make a difference in their community.
Submitted by Luis Jacquez