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A Magical, Memorable Summer

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The thought of summer is extremely exciting to almost every student, but not to those who plan to attend summer school. Although I did take summer courses, I had one of the best summers that a high school student can possibly have.

I took part in the UBCI (Upward Bound Channel Islands) Summer Academy. This academy took place at Cal State University Channel Islands. Unlike ordinary summer school, we took preparation courses for the classes we would be taking this school year including Chemistry, Pre-Calculus and Spanish. This academy made me feel so much more prepared and relaxed for the stressful school year ahead of me.

Through the UBCI program I was introduced to LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens). Through this program I was given the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in which I was invited to go to Phoenix, Arizona, for the 2018 National LULAC convention. At this convention, we stayed in the Sheraton Grand Phoenix Hotel where each room was occupied by four students. I was paired up with Gaby Valdez, another student from CI, and two other girls from RMHS, whom I became friends with immediately.

The first day, we took a tour at the Arizona State University campus in Tempe. The campus was extremely spacious and beautiful; the only downside was taking an outdoor tour due to the unbearable heat. Once the tour was over, we attended two workshops where we received insight about technology, scholarships and were advised by college students about the do’s and don’ts of college.

The actual convention was held in the Phoenix Convention Center. The second day we went to the convention and received several goodies. Then, in our business outfits, we attended three workshops regarding Latin Americans in technology and in college. The third day we did a similar routine, but in the evening, we attended a semi-formal dinner with all LULAC members.

The fourth day was one of the most exciting days. We took a few workshops, and then we went off to get ready for one of the biggest events of the convention. It was a time filled with pressure and excitement for what we were about to experience. Everyone felt the pressure to look their best. Everyone wore their most formal article of clothing.

I wore a beautiful gold, front wrapped dress, with faux suede heels. I did my own makeup that day, and I felt very confident and prepared. All my friends were dressed beautifully as well.

We waited in line for about 30 minutes before we were admitted to the dining hall. There we were seated in a beautifully garnished table where we ate a three-course meal while listening to a couple of speakers.

Then all the anticipation went away when ex-vice president Joe Biden was introduced. He came in joyfully and prepared. He had a short but powerful speech which talked about our immigration rights and how we should be united in these times of uncertainty for the Latin community.

This was one of the most memorable nights of my entire life, I got to see one of my favorite politicians speak, and it was more extraordinary than what I had expected.

The next and last day, we went to Tempe, Arizona again and spent the day at the big surf waterpark. It had several waterslides and a wave pool. It was such an amazing day and the park was gorgeous.

This experience has changed me forever as it has significantly interested me in politics and fighting for my rights. I will never forget the summer of 2018.

 

 

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