Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Phoenix Colleges Hosts "Dare2Dream" Conference Saturday, April 28

(PHOENIX, Ariz., April 25, 2012) – Olympic gold medalist wrestler Henry Cejudo and CBS 5 News Anchor Catherine Anaya will speak to middle school students participating in the 3rd Annual "Dare2Dream" Youth Leadership conference Saturday, April 28, 2012 at Phoenix College.

The conference is presented by Raul H. Castro Institute of Phoenix College and Cartwright School District, with generous sponsorship support from Walmart and Fry’s Food Stores.

Cejudo’s talk will center on fulfilling his dream of Olympic gold and overcoming obstacles to reach your goals. Anaya will address her professional and personal journey in the TV news business.

For the first time, the conference will be held on the campus of Phoenix College, allowing additional students to participate. Students from Phoenix Elementary, Isaac, Glendale and Alhambra districts will join students from Cartwright Elementary this year. In all, close to 500 middle school students and 150 parents are expected to attend the 3rd annual event.

“We’re trying to harness the energy and enthusiasm of middle school kids and channel them into leadership roles,” said Raul Piña, Leadership Coach for Cartwright School District. “We started this conference on the campus of Castro Middle School and we wanted to expand it to impact more kids and families in the area.”

Ofelia Cañez, director of the Raul H. Castro Institute, said the decision to move the event to the PC campus will broaden its impact and expose more students to higher education. "It's critical to start this type of programming at the middle school level and even younger," she said. "Helping them reach their potential and acquire a credential supports the national agenda of economic prosperity."

The event will include welcoming remarks from Phoenix College President Dr. Anna Solley and opening remarks from Cartwright Superintendent Jacob Chavez as well as student workshops, parent break-out sessions, team-building activities, campus tours, and a community agency fair.

Anaya is a three-time Emmy award winning journalist and was selected to the “40 Hispanic Leaders under 40” list. She also received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Valley’s Hispanic Leadership Institute. 

Cejudo wrestled for Maryvale High School before pursuing his dream of winning an Olympic gold medal. His life story is the subject of a book and theatrical play. Born to Mexican undocumented immigrant parents, his family moved to several Southwest cities before settling in Phoenix.

Students will also see a video describing the life story of former Gov. Raul H. Castro, the only Arizona governor of Mexican-American descent. His rise to prominence as a politician and U.S. ambassador from humble beginnings growing up near Douglas, Ariz., has been used to motivate children throughout the state. 

This year's conference will include a research component to measure the impact of the program in helping students transition from middle school to high school and college. Students will be able to stay connected throughout the year via social media and community involvement activities.

For more information, contact Ofelia Cañez at (602) 285-7524 or Raul Piña at (602) 568-0944.

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