The Leadership Academy’s fellows have been blessed with a rewarding and unforgettable experience: A full year of demanding leadership training. I am pleased they stayed the course and endured until the end. Today, Saturday, May 20, 2017, they graduate as excellent holistic leaders, determined to continue advocating for the common good of the people. Join me, please, in congratulating them: The Class of 2017!
Most fellows were on time, never missed a class, completed their assignments, and strictly complied with rigorous academy requirements. They came from different walks of life and levels of education and represented various professions, ideologies, and religious beliefs. Despite their differences, they realized having one thing in common: a keen commitment to advocacy for socio-economic and political advancement.
This seminar included in-depth discussions on principles that affect and permeate all areas of society and leadership in public service. Of the several forums and topics discussed, they paid close attention to the seminar on government and politics. Given the significance of this seminar and its impact on the Class of 2017, I thought it essential to take advantage of this opportunity to say that fellows realized and re-confirmed that politics influences everything: Where and how we live; the quality of the food we eat; our health; lifestyle; what medicine we consume; what we believe; what kind of education we get; and how we are treated based on our ascribed and achieved status in society. Politics influences our opinions about happenings, our very own behavior, choices, and aspirations.
Let us pause a minute to commend the fellows of the Latino Leadership Academy Class of 2017. Let us thank them for their graduation today and their commitment to mentor the Class of 2018. Congratulations, mi gente, for your leadership and memorable graduation — indeed, an outstanding, rewarding achievement.
Néstor Montilla, Ph.D.
Director, Latino Leadership Academy