by Yulissa Gomez | April 9, 2021 | PRHYLI

Students from the Capital District were phenomenal during the virtual Angelo del Toro Puerto Rican/Hispanic Youth Leadership Institute conference! Despite all unpredictable circumstances and PR/HYLI going virtual for the first time ever, students did an extravagant job.

PRHYLI 2021 Keynote Speaker Dolores Huerta

This year’s PR/HYLI topic was Civic Readiness. Students spent some of their Saturdays mornings and Wednesdays afternoons for about three months learning about “the ability to make a positive difference in the public life of our communities through the combination of civic knowledge, skills and actions, mindsets, and experiences” (NYSED, 2020). They also studied and prepared for the debate of fours Bills:

  • Warm-up Bill – A10433 Relates to providing eligibility for state or local public benefits regardless of immigration status
  • Bill #1 – A9586 Prohibits and regulates the discovery and disclosure of immigration status
  • Bill #2 – A10319 Relates to establishing the office of racial equity and social justice
  • Bill # 3 – A4615 Prohibits police officers from using racial and ethnic profiling

The institute weekend included students from 15 districts whom five of the Seniors won scholarships.Congratulations Capital District Delegates! You did it!Districts/Schools represented in our local delegation and at the 2021 PR/HYLI Leadership Institute Weekend event 2021:

  • Amsterdam
  • Cohoes
  • Gloversville
  • Guilderland
  • Hudson
  • Ichabod/ Crane/Kinderhook
  • Lansingburgh
  • Niskayuna
  • Ravena-Coeymans- Selkirk
  • Schenectady
  • Stillwater
  • Taconic Hills
  • Tech Valley
  • Troy
  • Waterford-Halfmoon

Capital District Scholarship Winners 2021:

  • Amanda A. Thrasher – Angelo Del Toro Scholarship
  • Mayra G. Morales – Angelo Del Toro Scholarship
  • Melissa A. Ochoa – Angelo Del Toro Scholarship
  • Jenifer C. Martinez Peraza – Angelo Del Toro Scholarship
  • Cruz C. Rios – Yesenia Valle Scholarship
  • Sara E. Nava – Yesenia Valle Scholarship



PRHYLI Scholarship Winners


  • Genesis Marte – Niskayuna High School
  • Elvia Garcia – Maple Hill High School
  • Lizeth Gomez – Ichabod Crane High School
  • Edson Garcia-Cruz – Amsterdam High School
  • Soledad Cruz – Ichabod Crane High School



  • Sergio Gomez-Martinez – Ichabod Crane High School
  • Yulissa Gomez – Ichabod Crane High School



  • Jonathan Adorno – Amsterdam High School
  • Alexandra Betancourt-Perez – Niskayuna High School
  • Maia Loy – Shenendehowa High School
  • Sabrina Medina – Rensselaer Jr. / Sr. High School
  • Mario Eduardo Vasquez – Maple Hill High School
  • Catherine Wislous – South Colonie High School



  • Alan Cazarin – Columbia High School
  • Diego Lezama – Ichabod Crane High School
  • Joelitza M. Santiago Diaz – Watervliet Jr./Sr. High School
  • Jacob Torres – Green Tech High Charter School



  • Jesus Gomez – Ichabod Crane High School
  • Daysi Gomez – Ichabod Crane High School
  • Nina Loy – Shenendehowa High School



  • Gabriela Zappi – South Colonie High School
  • Quisqueya Witbeck – Columbia High School



  • Iliana Ortega – Ballston Spa High School



  • Mariah Kennedy – Bethlehem High School



  • Yasmin Martinez – Hudson High School



  • Bailey Acevedo – Guilderland High School
  • Ruth Abigail Nova – Albany High School
  • Ian Michalski – Voohresville High School
  • Austin Michalski – Voohresville High School



  • Bryun Williams – Shaker High School



  • Amy Melendez – Broadalbin Perth High School
  • Christian Salas – Shaker High School



  • Jonathan Hernandez – Shaker High School
  • Ashley Ruiz – Shaker High School



  • Darney Osepa – Tamarac High School
  • Carlos Ray Garcia – Shaker High School



  • Rodrigo Cerda – Bethlehem High School



  • Andrea Escobar – Amsterdam High School



  • Zulenmi Castillo – Troy High School

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