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Home | Tag Archives: Libertas Academy

Tag Archives: Libertas Academy

Libertas Academy at Americas High receives $60k grant for fourth year in row

The Libertas Academy at Americas High School has received the Hatton Sumners Foundation grant for the fourth year in a row totaling $60,000, which the academy uses toward funding instruction and materials.

The Libertas Academy, an advanced academic academy in the Socorro Independent School District that focuses on law, government and public administration, is one of a few high school programs that the Hatton Sumners Foundation currently funds as part of its youth development branch.

“We are truly grateful to the Hatton Sumners Foundation for helping us provide endless opportunities for our students,” said Eduardo Hinojos, Libertas Academy coordinator.

The grant also will continue to help fund the civics camps, where incoming eighth-grade students learn about the constitution, voting, census and more.

Madison Vidales is a junior at Americas High School, the Libertas Academy secretary and a camp counselor. She joined the program to set herself up for a career in law and hopes to leave with a better understanding of the field of law, while being a step ahead once she reaches college.

“With that grant we are able to provide the civics camps for the incoming freshman and make sure they know what is going to be offered in this academy,” Vidales said. “It allows us to create a foundation for the academy and prepare students to enter into high school.”

The civics camps provide academic readiness and build the culture within the program. Students get to interact with the other eighth graders coming in from different high schools and get to know the current Libertas Academy students, who are the camp counselors.

“While I was an eighth grader in civics camp, it was an awesome way for me to get to know people, but at the same time learn about my community and everything that was going on within it,” said Kayla Saucedo, an Americas High School junior and the vice president of law for the Libertas Academy.

Saucedo said the civics camps are an amazing experience because they give students exposure to a variety of different career fields before they go to college. The camps also teach students about democracy and the roles citizens take in government.

“We want to teach students that the government does not begin in Austin or in Washington D.C., rather it begins in their own backyard,” Hinojos said.

This year’s civics camp theme is voting rights, where students will be looking into the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 19th amendments.

“In looking at these amendments we really want students to learn the history and importance of voting,” Hinojos said. “To know that it is not something that should be taken lightly as it is something that can change our country for the better and that it is our civic duty.”

During the civics camps, students participate in several sessions, lectures, and activities, and finish on the last day by showcasing a project they worked on throughout the camp.

A group of representatives from the Hatton Sumners Foundation will attend this year’s civics camps to observe how the Libertas Academy works and its success, as they contemplate funding a new entity.

“It is a real honor for us to be able to be a model for another entity,” Hinojos said.

Socorro ISD’s Libertas Academy Awarded $15K Grant for Spring Civics Institute 2.0

Socorro Independent School District’s Libertas Academy at Americas High, received at $15,000 grant for their Spring Civics Institute.

The grant will allow instructors to teach Libertas students about the fourth amendment, via the Spring Civics Institute 2.0

“We are excited and proud to have received this grant because it will give us the opportunity to teach students how become active in the local, state and federal government,” said Eduardo Hinojos, coordinator of the Libertas Academy. “We want to express our deepest thanks to the Hatton Sumners Foundation for making this possible.”

Students will learn about unreasonable searches and seizures, arbitrary arrests, search warrants, safety inspections, and reasonable expectation of privacy.

“This camp will be of great benefit to our students seeking careers in law, government, and public administration upon high school and post-secondary graduation,” Hinojos said.

This is the second-year that Libertas earns the prestigious grant. The program first earned the grant in 2016 and educated students on water rights, air pollution policy negotiation between the U.S. and Mexico, the food waste policy and eminent domain.

“Our students must never forget that the power to choose their government and control its activities for the common good begins with them and their fellow citizens,” he said. “An informed citizen is one that becomes involved in the community and seeks to better their own life as well as the life of others.”

The event will run from March 12-16 and is open to new and current Libertas students.

SISD officials added, “It is designed to teach students that self-rule begins in their own community by identifying, researching, gathering data, analyzing, educating and empowering fellow citizens over issues and/or policies that impact their daily lives.”

For more information on the project, residents can contact Eduardo Hinojos at ehinoj04@sisd.net

Americas High’s Libertas Students to Educate Community on Citizens’ Rights

The Americas High School Libertas Academy unveiled its plans to launch its Communities in Action and Anti-Bullying Youth Court initiatives.
The Libertas Academy will host a public meeting for all community members regarding civil rights, voter education, and the school’s anti-bullying efforts at 6 p.m. Dec. 15 at the school.

“Voting rights are important,” said Jonathan Perez, senior student in the Libertas program. “A lot of people don’t understand the importance of their voice in the voting spectrum and how it can affect our leaders.”

Libertas students educate community2The Communities in Action initiative will include Texas House Representative Mary Gonzalez, the Law Office of Danny Razo and Law Office of Monique Velarde Reyes, who will give presentations to help citizens be aware of their legal rights. The students also will assist in educating the public about how to become a U.S. citizen

“It’s important the we have events like these to announce the plans of the Libertas program,” said Kyle Donnelly, senior student and vice president of the program. “Libertas focuses on student success but it also focuses and student involvement in the campus and in the community. We want to have great students, and we also want great citizens!”

The event on Dec. 15 also will allow students to explain more about their new Anti-Bullying Youth Court program. The mock trial program will be an avenue for students to discuss bullying prevention and awareness and give students experience in developing and discussing solutions to serious issues involved with bullying.

“The Libertas student body is all about being united,” Perez said. “We feel like it is our responsibility as future models and vehicles of social and political change to take affirmative action on making a difference in our community.”

The Libertas Academy is one of six advanced academic academies offered at SISD high schools and is geared toward students who wish to pursue a career in government and public administration or law.

Libertas Academy Students to host Citizenship Conference Saturday

Libertas Academy students, immigration attorneys, representatives from immigrant advocacy groups and others in the immigration field will assist legal permanent residents to apply for citizenship at Americas High School.

The fair will include refugee legal services for families. In addition, workshops will be available for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative, a federal policy that allows undocumented immigrants who come to the United States as children to get a reprieve from deportation; and for Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, which grants deferred action status to certain illegal immigrants who have lived in the United States since 2010 and have children who are American citizens or lawful permanent residents.

Libertas Academy is a four-year program for students at Americas High School who are interested in studying the judicial system and government.

Libertas Academy is working in partnership with Socorro AFT, the Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Service Inc., Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, and the El Paso Immigration Bar.

What:            Americas High School’s Libertas Academy is sponsoring its first Education Conference on Citizenship and Immigration 101

Who:              Libertas Aacademy students, attorneys, legal aid providers and community members

Where:          Americas High School | 12101 Pellicano Dr.

When:            Saturday, May 14 |  9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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