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MHS students seek to increase NHI numbers

T-R PHOTO BY LANA BRADSTREAM Six Marshalltown High School formed the National Hispanic Institute club at MHS and gave a presentation to the Marshalltown School Board about their efforts and what they would like to achieve during the regular meeting.

Six Marshalltown High School students told the Marshalltown School Board about their experiences at the National Hispanic Institute during the regular school board meeting on Monday.

The students, such as Uriel Campos Padilla, represented the newly formed NHI club at MHS. The students attended a week-long program near Chicago to learn leadership skills through the NHI.

“You might be wondering what is the National Hispanic Institute,” Campos Padilla said. “It’s a program that is designed to teach leadership skills.”

High school English-as-a-second-language instructor Hector Campos is also the sponsor for the newly formed student group.

“They represent not just the future leaders of our community but also academic leaders in our school,” Campos said. “They are some of our top scholars at Marshalltown High School and they are phenomenally busy.”

Only nine students were able to attend the Chicago summer program and the club wants to grow the number who attend next year. They told the board that requires a fundraising strategy and greater awareness of NHI.

It is a good enough program that the students believe it is worthy of the effort. They learned how to improvise when thrown into a situation and how to build efficient and productive teams.

The students also learned about how the United States government works and about the lack of representation of the Latino community in the government.

“Throughout the program you were put into groups,” Campos Padilla told the board. “These groups were selected by staff and they had people from different states and different schools. It forced you to become a family with that group so over the week you did different bonding activities and to connect with one another.”

School board member Niko Aguirre asked the students if they had thought of something that could be done to help with fundraising and raising awareness.

Two fundraising efforts suggested by the students were a concession stand and a bake sale. NHI also offers financial aid to students who are unable to raise the funds.

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Contact Lana Bradstream at 641-753-6611

or lbradstream@timesrepublican.com