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CHLI hosted its Future Leaders Conference -"Explore the World. Discover your Future!"

Wednesday, July 24, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Eduardo Arabu
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Press Release       For Immediate Release
July 24, 2013                                                                                                Contact: Leo Velasquez
CHLI hosted its Future Leaders Conference -"Explore the World. Discover your Future!" in Washington DC

Washington DC, July 22, 2013 - The Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI) welcomed over 220 youth, college students, and young professionals to the CHLI Future Leaders Conference on Capitol Hill on Friday, July 19, 2013. The conference, themed, "Explore the World. Discover your Future!" included the participation of Members of Congress along with government and corporate representatives. 
"Recent trends have changed the dynamic of our society and has expanded beyond our borders enabling us to become global citizens. The Future Leaders Conference has proven to be tremendously successful in inspiring students in becoming global leaders. The conference included speakers with diverse backgrounds and expertise who shared their stories, challenged students to reach their highest potential and encouraged them to make a difference in their community and in the world." commented, Chairman and former U.S. Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart. 
CHLI's Vice Chairmen Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart and Rep. Henry Cuellar along with CHLI Congressional Members Rep. Bill Flores, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Rep. Albio Sires and Rep. David Valadao plus Rep. Patrick McHenry shared their stories of how they became a Member of Congress, provided students with tips on how to plan their careers and gave life-long lessons on leadership, character and personal responsibility.
The first of two panels titled, "Career Compass" kicked off with career tips by Peter Arapis, Director of Government Affairs, of Ford Motor Company. He encouraged participants to follow their own path. Elmy Bermejo, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor, emphasized the importance of developing ones work ethic. She encouraged the audience to learn what they enjoy doing and look for jobs that match that purpose. She learned that she enjoyed helping people, which drove her to public service. Juan Carlos Gutierrez, Group Vice President, with Oracle leads a multi-cultural group of executives in Latin America. He shared the importance of traveling, learning about different cultures and learning a new language or two. Katie Harbath, Manager for Policy, of Facebook encouraged participants to not be afraid of the opportunities ahead and to take time to assess what else they need to learn, plan on it and do it. She shared how the most recent positions she has held didn't exist until she raised her hand and pointed out how the company could grow and help others - and she is now leading those efforts. 
The second panel, titled "Global Entrepreneurship" included Ray Dempsey, Vice President, Government & Public Affairs, of BP America, Jennifer Bernal, Policy Analyst, of Google and Howard Moon, Executive Director, Government Affairs of Amgen. Mr. Dempsey shared how he has worked in different countries and how he would request a new assignment in a new department. Ms. Bernal shared how technology is everywhere now and rapidly changing how we connect with others around the world. She encouraged participants to travel virtually - to go online and meet people from other countries and cultures. Mr. Moon referenced the importance of traveling to expand ones understanding of how other people work and think. He also shared how his job in government relations means he is constantly educating people and therefore it is also important to focus on communications skills regardless of one's major. 
Kate Kelly from WETA gave participants a sneak preview at the three-part, six hour documentary titled, Latino Americans. Latino Americans is the first major documentary series for television to chronicle the rich and varied history and experiences of Latinos, who have for the past 500-plus years helped shape what is today the United States. The documentary will air over three consecutive Tuesdays on PBS, premiering on September 17 (check local listings for dates and times). The series will also be broadcast nationally in Spanish on Vme. There is an opportunity for individuals to add to the stories with their own videos. For more information click here.
The networking luncheon provided a platform for participants to meet with corporate leaders, conference speakers, sponsors and non-profit organizations. During this segment, conference participants had the opportunities to explore internships and entry-level jobs resources offered by the Florida International University, George Washington University's Semester in Washington Program, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, The Libre Initiative, Teach for America, the U.S. State Department/Hispanic Employee Council of Foreign Affairs Agencies, WETA's Washington DC Internship Programs, and the U.S. Agency for International Development. 
The conference was geared towards high school seniors, college students, and young professionals. The complimentary registration that included continental breakfast and lunch was made possible by the generous contributions of Ford Motor Company, BP America, Wal-Mart, and Facebook.
For additional information about the CHLI Future Leaders Conference, visit Photos of the conference are in CHLI's Facebook Page - click here to see photos (Note: you must log in to your account).

About CHLI:  
The Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and non-partisan organization. CHLI's vision is Advancing the Hispanic Community's Diversity of Thought. CHLI is the premier organization founded by Members of Congress and Hispanic corporate executive leaders to advance the Hispanic community's economic progress with a focus on social responsibility and global competitiveness. The organization's leadership, domestic and international partners and staff prepare and promote Hispanic college students and professionals to be global leaders. Programs incorporate the intersections of academic excellence, public policy and global perspectives. 
For more information visit

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