Junior Leadership Graduates its 17th Class
Last week the star on the mountain was lit in honor of the fifty high school juniors graduating from the El Paso Chamber’s Junior Leadership El Paso (JRLEP) program. Mirroring the Chamber’s Leadership El Paso program for professionals, JRLEP provides ambitious students with an immersive exploration of El Paso’s strengths, challenges, history, and future directions. Students participated in conversations with people like Luke Lowenfeld and Patrick Gabaldon, the staff at Creative Kids and the Great Khalid Foundation, as well as site visits to the Chihuahua’s stadium and El Paso Children’s Hospital.
In addition to educational workshops, lectures, and monthly field trips, JRLEP participants also undertake an action-focused community project as a group. This year’s cohort decided to collect toiletry items for the Center Against Sexual and Family Violence. Despite the challenge of collecting donations during COVID-19’s shelter-in-place orders, JRLEP’s 17th class persevered and affected change, working closely with the shelter to organize staggered drop-off times and ensure the shelter did not experience a shortage of supplies.
“I am so impressed with Class 17’s commitment to doing good in their community, even during this difficult time,” said Jimena Ponte, JRLEP Board President. “I look forward to seeing the positive change they continue to create.”
Due to social distancing recommendations, the traditional graduation ceremony has been canceled. However, in addition to lighting the Star, the JRLEP Board of Directors personally delivered the diplomas to the graduates this past weekend.
“As we celebrate so many milestone graduations this month, I am exceptionally proud of the efforts of Junior Leadership El Paso; these students are a major asset to the community,” explained David Jerome, President and CEO of the Chamber. He added that, “the work of the JRLEP Board and the many volunteers that give of their time to JRLEP is also impressive and a strong signal of the commitment made by many to ensure our leadership ranks in El Paso stay vibrant and full.”