Anthony Pizana Takes a Life Changing Trip to Washington D.C.

Chasity Parks, Staff Reporter

     This past September, junior Anthony Pizana took a trip Washington D.C to be a leader at the Washington Youth Leader Seminar (WYLS). This seminar brought over 50 future Latino leaders from across the U.S. and Puerto Rico to D.C. to participate in leadership and advocacy training and peer bonding exercises. Anthony 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.”

  Anthony was chosen to be a representative for Indiana because he has been involved in the League of United Latin American Citizens, which is the nation’s oldest Hispanic civil rights organization, since he was a youngster. He now works with the LULAC Duneland Council #5016 in Chesterton, IN, and this council’s main focus is helping high school students who are struggling with finding money for college receive scholarships. Because of his longtime commitment to this organization, his willingness to help and his passion, Anthony was looked at as the perfect person to represent Indiana in Washington.

  In Washington D.C., he along with 56 others, attended a seminar where they learned listened to talks from people who work in corporate America, politicians, and people that are involved in LNESC and LULAC on a National and College level scale.

  During his time there, Anthony also attended the LNESC (National Educational Services Centers) Youth Leadership Banquet to raise money for a scholarship fund. This national non-profit organization was established in 1973 to implement education and leadership programs that narrow the opportunity gap for America’s disadvantaged youth. In D.C., Anthony also met new peers and got to know a lot about them and their backgrounds. He and his new associates got to do many fun activities. They got to eat at restaurants like: the Boar’s Head Cafe, the Thundergrill and Hardrock Cafe. They also got to go to the Senate building and bond with everyone from different areas of the nation that came on the trip. After lunch in the Senate building, Anthony and his peers met with policy and legislative aides from the Missouri and Indiana senators. According to Anthony, “They [the senators] were well receptive to the criticism we brought forward on issues of Education.”

    Anthony felt like this trip had a strong impact on him. It helped boost his confidence and he was very inspired by the many unique experiences he got to encounter during this trip. It was just an all around life changing event. He also feels like he has changed and grown as a person. He is no longer his former self. He says, “Honestly, it sounds a bit selfish but after being a shadow of your former self and finding it and just connecting with other people while doing it, I would’ve definitely left my life here and stay there with the people I met.”