By LOUIE DIAZ
San Benito CISD held the Newcomer Leadership Academy (NLA) kickoff on Monday, Aug. 30 at the Veterans Memorial Academy.
The NLA is a program for recent immigrants who are learning English and are currently enrolled in English as a Second Language (ESL) classes at the high school level.
According to Dr. Patricia Quesada, the SBCISD Director of Bilingual Education, the district began working with the NLA last year.
“We started last year and so our sessions were virtual with over 50 students connecting,” Quesada said.
Students in the NLA program will attend sessions that will aid in their future development.
“The goal for this academic year we want to be able to have information sessions about college, we want to be able to help meet them were they’re at by providing resources and opportunities, and networks that can help them reach whatever dreams they may have,” said Dr. Jose Luis Zelaya, co-founder of the NLA.
“We are focusing not only on activities and presentations, but we also want to expose them to opportunities to networks and resources that can create those levels of opportunities,” Zelaya continued.
This school year, Zelaya will be working with two groups both the cohort from last year and this year’s cohort. He will also meet with the students in person rather than virtually.
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