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Libertas Academy students gather leadership insight during virtual meeting with mayor

Libertas students virtual meet with Mayor  

Students in the Libertas Academy at Americas High School had the opportunity to meet virtually with Mayor Dee Margo via Microsoft Teams May 15 to gain insight on how El Paso’s leader is handling the COVID-19 pandemic.

The meeting was coordinated by Americas High School first-year law teacher Amanda Stevens, who wanted to give her students a real-world experience to learn firsthand how city officials are grappling with the situation.

“We are preparing students to enter the pathway of government and law, and what better way than to see those leaders who are dealing with the current issues at hand,” Stevens said.

Stevens went about contacting the mayor’s office the same way any constituent would and the response was rapid and eager, she said.

Twenty-six Libertas Academy students participated in the question and answer forum with Margo, discussing topics such as the reopening of schools and what will the community’s new normal look like.

The students were grateful for the opportunity and eager to hear his answers. He told the students that El Paso is a resilient city that has overcome many challenges over the last few months, including being ground zero for immigration and the heartbreak of the Aug. 3 Walmart shooting. While the pandemic has brought much uncertainty, the Sun City will overcome this latest situation and come out stronger, Margo said.

“The interaction with the Mayor was truly eye opening and made me feel like even us as teenagers had a voice and could contribute in one way or another to our community,” said Isabela Valencia, a freshman at Americas High School.

The mayor’s office will be sending each student a certificate for their participation in the discussion.

“The key is to be informed, make judgments when voting and pay attention to what’s going on,” Margo said. “You are all doing what should be done and I applaud that. Remember you are the future of El Paso.”

Libertas Academy coordinator Eduardo Hinojos said that the interview with the mayor is reflective of the philosophy of Libertas -- to provide real-world experiences for students that go beyond the four walls of the classroom and to connect them to individuals that are currently thriving in the careers that the students may be seeking upon graduating.

“This academy continues to grow and to excel and it’s all because of the support from our campus and our district,” Hinojos said. “All of us truly work as Team SISD.”

Published June 16, 2020

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