State Senator Leyva Presents $1 Million to Nonprofit Organizations to Open Inland Empire Institute

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (KABC) — This month, State Senator Connie Leyva presented a $1 million state grant to the nonprofit Chicano Latino Youth Leadership Project, which will help open the nonprofit’s fifth institute in the state – this time in the Inland Empire.

“It’s incredibly important because if you look at my district, we’re 70% Latinos and Latinas and we’re underrepresented,” said Leyva, who represents part of the Inland Empire. “That will ensure that our young people learn about government, they learn to participate.”

The nonprofit institute organizes an annual statewide and regional conference for the areas it serves, namely Sacramento, the Bay Area, Fresno, the Central Valley, Los Angeles and now the Inland Empire. The conference consists of letting youth participate in panels and workshops focused on culture, community, college and careers.

“That is amazing. It’s amazing when you learn more about your culture,” said Roxanna Perez, a student at the nonprofit.

The conference also takes students through a mock legislature session, as well as county and city council meetings.

“It was life-changing,” said Joel Monte, a student at the nonprofit. “I want to go into government and politics.”

The non-profit organization also helps fund the conference costs of the students for whom the scholarship is used. The grant will also help pay full-time employees to work at the nonprofit, in a first in the organization’s history. Previously, the non-profit organization was run by volunteers.

“This was an area of ​​the state that was underserved, and we’re committed to starting in the Inland Empire,” said Ivan Carrillo, chairman of the board for the nonprofit.

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Laura Coffey

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