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Libertas Academy awarded grant from Sumners Foundation
The Socorro Independent School District’s Libertas Academy has been awarded a $15,000 grant by the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation to host their Spring Civics Institute, a five-day camp designed to encourage middle and high school students to make a difference in their community.
The Libertas Academy at Americas High School is one of the advanced academic programs offered by SISD and is geared toward students who wish to pursue a career in government, public administration, and/or law. The program, which is in its fourth year, provides students the opportunity to serve and engage in their community while experiencing the rigor, depth, and intensity of college-level work in high school; earning college credit through dual credit and advanced placement courses; and develop leadership and public speaking skills.
“Receiving this grant from such a prestigious source as the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation is a blessing,” said Eduardo J. Hinojos, Libertas Academy instructor. “It will allow our academy, Americas High School, and SISD to continue providing great hands-on, and real-world learning opportunities to our students.”
Libertas students said they are eager to participate in the Spring Civics Institute because it will build their leadership and government skills and help them address the community's needs and existing policies.
“This camp will further develop my passion to serve my community in the future as a representative,” said Ricardo Flores, a senior in the program. “The Spring Civics Institute is more than a camp, it is a space where I and my fellow students can obtain a unique experience. Opportunities like these shape us to become the social rights soldiers and activists of tomorrow, to better the place we will inherit.”
Spring Civics Institute activities will include, spending time at Americas High School's Libertas Academy, visiting local and state officials, researching community issues, and engaging in service learning.
“We are eager to see how our first graduating class will move on to serve the community,” Hinojos said.
Once students identify a community issue, they will create an advocacy project that will be made public through the creation of a website. The institute will conclude with students sharing their advocacy projects publicly.
The purpose of the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation is to encourage the study, teaching and research into the science and art of self-government so that Americans may understand the fundamental principles of democracy and be guided in shaping governmental policies, according to the foundation website.
All incoming freshmen who have been accepted to Libertas Academy must attend the Spring Civics Institute. Other SISD students who want to gain community service hours and be civically engaged may send an email expressing their interest in the camp to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Libertas Academy instructor will contact them with further details.
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