Education has always played a major role in shaping human society. The Italian artist, Leonardo Da Vinci once said, “learning never exhausts the mind.” Learning is a lifelong journey, always new things to discover.
In the efforts in continuing to support education, Hidalgo ISD’s Ida Diaz Jr. High welcomes the 2023 Harvard Young Leadership Program by Harvard model Congress San Francisco. It’s a unique and intensive 5-day program on leadership and building future changemakers for incoming 8th graders.
“We are going to have 35 participants, incoming 8th grade students participate in this summer program from June 5th through June 9th,” said executive Director of Teaching & Learning, Sandra Cavazos. “It will include mentors from Harvard University that will be leading these 5-day classes from 9am-3pm, offering workshops on leadership activities with hands-on experiences.” There’s a minimum participation of 35 students. Cavazos will work alongside Christian Treviño, Ph.D., Ida Diaz Jr. High principal, and his leadership team to accept and review applications from students.
The program will focus on leadership, problem solving, communication, public speaking, and critical thinking. “Participants will immerse themselves in ‘Harvard-style’ classroom experience inspired from some of the most engaging subjects taken by the Harvard mentors themselves and participate in leadership and collaboration work activities during the program,” explained the co-founder of learn with leaders, Shubham Gupta.
Day one consists of Communication skills and public speaking, implementing small group discussions, identifying world issues, team building activities and leadership exercises. The workshop on day two will consist of leading with purpose and vision along with problem solving and decision making. Day three will be about networking and building relationships. On the fourth and final day, the workshop will pertain to Global citizenship and social responsibility.
Hidalgo Independent School District fosters an environment that leads, teaches, empowers, and boosts students’ leadership skills by inspiring them to step beyond their comfort zone. Additionally, “the program hopes to expose students to the world beyond Hidalgo ISD and expand their experiences and own perspectives,” Cavazos said.
Encouraging the development of these skills not only builds confidence but encourages collaboration, problem solving, and increases the students’ sense of responsibility. Hidalgo ISD creates opportunities and inspires students to achieve their goals. “Harvard’s reputation as one of the world's leading higher education institutions can inspire middle school students to set high academic and career goals,” Treviño said. “At the same time, its strong emphasis on community service and social responsibility can instill valuable values and leadership skills that can serve them well throughout their lives.”
Academic resources are available and designed for more engaging ways for students to learn and gain the necessary experiences by bridging the gap between Harvard and Hidalgo ISD. “Harvard University offers numerous benefits for middle school students, such as access to wide range of academic resources, exposure to a diverse and stimulating learning environment, and the opportunity to participate in challenging programs and competitions that can enhance their intellectual and personal growth,” Treviño stated.
The development of the Harvard Young Leadership program in correlation with Diaz Jr. High contributes to the spread of knowledge and advancement in civilization, here in the Hidalgo ISD community.