“To help empower my district, I first had to get them out to vote,” said Councilman Daniel Valenzuela about his constituents.
PHOENIX – Students at Glenview College Prep enjoyed their visit with Phoenix City Councilman Daniel Valenzuela. “I was very impressed with the students – so respectful and willing to learn and to get involved,” said Valenzuela. “They had some great questions.”
These high school students are members of Junior Statesmen of America, a national program that calls on students to study government closely, respectfully debate local, national and global issues, and to develop their leadership skills. The program further challenges students to become active, participative members of their community.
Many of the students were interested in Valenzuela’s personal history and what drove him toward public service, several also pressed him on issues they’ve been studying as part of their JSA pursuits and civic duty.
“What made you choose to be first a firefighter and then to add being a councilman?” asked Glenview 9th graders Roberto Casas. In response, Valenzuela spoke of his father and the ‘What do you want to do after high school – if all jobs paid the same’ question his father asked him. “After some thought, I decided to be a firefighter. I think it was because of the feeling I got when I visited a Phoenix firehouse. It was also because of my beliefs and the desire to serve,” said Valenzuela. “After some time as a firefighter, I saw that a lot of change was needed in my city. It was then that I decide to enter politics.”
Glenview school leader Giles Glithero said the personal interaction with a public servant helps students visualize what is possible for them. “These kids have big dreams and are working hard toward a college education. Seeing what success looks like helps them focus their goals even more closely. It’s opportunities like this that will help to inspire, motivate and truly educate our students.”
“The Councilman is a stand-up guy. We were truly honored to have him visit with our students, talk about his life and discuss with them some real issues happening in their own city,” added JSA faculty advisor Ms. Lauren Fieman.
Daniel Valenzuela has represented District 5 on the Phoenix City Council since January 2012. He is a firefighter who has dedicated his life to public service. “I felt honored to be a play a part in the education at this school. I also invited them to city hall to see it from the inside and to experience it for what it really is. I can’t be the only west-sider on the other side of that door,” he said.
Glenview College Prep is a part of The Leona Group, and is a tuition-free, charter public school with a singular core focus: to graduate students who are fully prepared – intellectually and socially – to study, compete and succeed at colleges and universities here in Arizona and across the nation.
For more information about GCP, please visit http://www.glenviewcollegeprep.com .
The Leona Group is among the nation's pioneers of education reform. Leona formed in 1996 to provide quality school choices to families, primarily in urban areas. Now in its 16th year of operation, The Leona Group has grown to offer a wide variety of quality school choices; comprehensive school management services; and rewarding careers for world-class educators. The Leona Group operates schools in Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.
GCP is a tuition-FREE public charter high school offering a college prep, student centered, academic environment for the surrounding communities. ENROLL NOW for the coming block (Four blocks to start)