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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of May 1 - 7, 2002

  News

!Tus decisiones hacen un impato en tu furturro!


By DANA DUGAN
Express Staff Writer

The 13th Annual Hispanic Youth Symposium last weekend at Sun Valley was attended by more than 300 Hispanic high school students from throughout Idaho. The symposium is sponsored yearly by the Department of Energy and the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory.

Gov. Dirk Kempthorne greets outstanding students from all over Idaho at 13th Annual Hispanic Youth Symposium in Sun Valley. Express photo by Willy Cook

In 1990, about 100 students attended the symposium and a single $1,000 scholarship was awarded. Since then, more than 3,000 students from throughout Idaho have attended, and scholarships and prizes valued at more than $1 million have been awarded throughout the years.

The dropout rate for Idaho Hispanic students has improved, but is unusually high at nearly 30 percent. There are about 7,500 Hispanic high school students in Idaho, or 12 percent of the population. Students write essays on why they want to participate in order to be accepted as a participant at the symposium.

The students stay in the Sun Valley Inn over the course of the three days, attending seminars and lectures by motivational speakers, including Gov. Dirk Kempthorne. Workshops about technology and social issues were among the interactive workshops students signed up for ahead of time.

The students had family style dinners nightly and danced to hip-hop and Latino music spun by a disc jockey in the Limelight Room.

Kempthorne spoke on Friday and attempted a little Spanish in his speech, which featured the stories of four people who had made it against all odds, including Wood River Valley Olympians Dick Fosbury and Muffy Davis.

He also spoke about Judge Sergio Gutierrez, who he recently named to the Idaho Supreme Court, and who attended the symposium. The governor proclaimed Friday, April 26, El Dia de los NiŮos.

He finished his speech by saying "If we can support one another, there is no limit to what we can do together, OK? Thatís why we come to this symposium."

There were four Wood River High School students participating in the symposium: Ronald Paucar, Daisy Hurtado, Paul Ramirez and Liset Villarreal.

Paucar, 18, who is from Peru, and has lived in the Wood River Valley for six years, attended last yearís symposium as well. He is scheduled to graduate this year, and intends on going into the Navy before applying for college. He said youths, in general, have a "big battle with all the things thrown at them," such as peer pressure and popularity.

"At the end, the causalities add up to a wrecked life. I have a different perspective coming from Peru. Itís sad to see how Americans waste their time doing nothing."

Paucar, who is on the track team at the high school, added that he was really angry that it took the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the East Coast to awaken Americans to the fact that America is a great country.

"No matter who you are, Hispanic or white, chances are out there."

 


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.