Serrano Leadership Institute Will Introduce Bronx Students to Political System

BRONX, NY— Lehman College has received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to establish the José E. Serrano Leadership Institute, which will help high school juniors from the Bronx better understand and become more involved in the political system.

The two-year program will admit its first 25 students by the end of this year, with another 25 to be added by November 2006. The Institute is currently working with the borough’s small high schools to recruit students. Applicants will be required to submit an essay, as well as participate in an interview with an Institute staff member.

“The program’s objective is to identify the leaders in the midst of our communities at an early age,” explains Project Director Edwin Martinez. “Students will be invited to discover and experience the political side of leadership in public life and consider taking an active role in this area.”

In addition to attending classes on American government taught by Lehman faculty, students will take part in an eight-week summer internship in the office of an elected official, government agency, public advocacy office or non-profit organization. Students will be assigned mentors who will guide them through the program, as well as help them make the transition from high school to higher education. Through the program, they will strengthen their skills in debating, writing, problem solving and public speaking.

This program is made possible through the support of Representative José E. Serrano, who represents the Sixteenth Congressional District of New York. He serves on the House Appropriations Committee as a member of the Subcommittee on Science, State, Justice and Commerce, and the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security.

For more information on the program, call the Institute at (718) 960-7843 or visit the website at


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