By Sarah Meskin
Rosamaria Villaseñor, a sophomore at Elevate Academy in Caldwell, has been selected from a competitive pool of over 100 applicants from public charter schools nationwide to join the 2023-2024 class of Rising Leaders. She shares, “I am really nervous to do something like this since I’ve never done anything like it before. But I’m really looking forward to meeting other students from across the nation and getting to work with them”. Rosamaria is the first Idaho student to receive this honor.
This year-long program, offered by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools will be a journey of training and mentorship, guided by a diverse team of experts. The mission of the program is to develop leadership and advocacy skills through immersive programming and collaborative experiences beyond the traditional classroom settings.
Rosamaria, originally from Tijuana, Mexico, and raised in Caldwell, Idaho, has always been a motivated individual driven by a passion for effecting change. She has benefited from attending a public charter school, mentioning that “going to a charter school has helped me learn more than I could anywhere else because the teachers are more passionate and hands-on.”
The primary goal of the Rising Leaders program is to nurture the leadership potential within these students. Rosamaria and her peers will participate in monthly Zoom training sessions, each centered on a spectrum of topics such as youth involvement in government, advocacy strategies, and leadership development. Guest speakers with expertise in the charter school sector will join these sessions, providing real-world insights.
In addition to virtual learning, each student will initiate an education advocacy club at their school. These clubs will serve as models for others to follow and serve as platforms for raising awareness about the unique value of public charter schools within the broader public education landscape. Through these clubs, the Rising Leaders will engage in meaningful conversations to advocate for supportive charter legislation and policies. Rosamaria is excited to raise awareness about the growth she’s personally experienced through attending a charter school.
The culmination of their experience will involve the creation of a digital advocacy guide, a resource that will be designed to empower others to actively support charter schools and address other causes they are passionate about. For Rosamaria, her deep involvement in the Hispanic community is something she is incredibly passionate about. She envisions a world where every voice feels heard and intends to leverage this program to effect positive change within her community.
The Rising Leaders will present their guides at a May 2024 digital webinar, marking the conclusion of this impactful program. Bluum values creating opportunities and empowering future leaders to drive positive change. We look forward to everything this program has to offer Rosamaria Villaseñor and the other charter students.