Bishop Noll Institute junior Anthony Pizana found himself while at a seminar more than 600 miles away from home.
Pizana, of Hobart, was selected to be a leader at the Washington Youth Leader Seminar, which is run by the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). This annual leadership development program brings together 50+ future Latino leaders from across the U.S. and Puerto Rico to participate in five days of leadership and advocacy training and peer bonding exercises. Pizana felt that these activities were done in hopes of creating a “tight knit group of leaders engaged and energized to make a difference in the Latino community.”
“I was alongside 56 other people who are crazily ambitious in what they want to do,” Pizana said.
Pizana, who attended elementary school at St. Bridget School in Hobart and St. Mary School in Griffith, was chosen to be a representative for Indiana because he has been involved in LULAC, the nation’s oldest Hispanic civil rights organization, since he was young. He currently works with the LULAC Duneland Council #5016 in Chesterton, Ind., which helps high school students who struggle financially receive college scholarships.
While in Washington, Pizana met new peers and learned about them and their backgrounds. He and his new friends got to do many fun activities such as eating out and visiting the Senate building. They also met with policy and legislative aides from the Missouri and Indiana senators who were receptive to the students’ criticisms regarding issues of education.
“The most important thing that I took away from my experience was my sense of self,” he said. “I was able to regain and enjoy things that I haven’t done in a very long time and it helped boost my self-confidence. The Washington trip helped me find myself mentally … I never wanted to leave, and neither did the other people. This trip has made me realize there are a lot more things to life than I simply thought before and the because of this experience, it’s helping me flesh out the things that I want to do.”