For 11 years, Cape High's Latin American Student Organization has offered Hispanic and American students a chance to bond and get to know one another.
On Dec. 6, the group inducted 50 new members.
“You don't have to be Latin American to be in the club,” said LASO co-advisor Cynthia McMahon. “We work to give back to the community and let kids know they have more things in common.”
For sophomore Jennifer Herrera, the group helps build friendships and relationships in the school. “I feel it is important because it brings various cultures together as one,” she said.
Junior Roseanne Rodriguez said she likes making connections with students from other cultures. “It also helps us feel like we are part of the high school,” she said.
Working together for a common goal is what junior Pablo Valasquez said he has learned. “It teaches us about how important community involvement is,” he said.
The skills learned during LASO activities can have a lasting effect on students, said Nayeli Ortiz ninth-grader.
“It teaches us to become positive citizens,” she said. “It helps promote leadership in the Latino community.”
LASO advisor Jerry Lindale said he is thrilled with this year's turnout.
“We want everyone to feel like they're part of the school,” he said.
Principal Nikki Miller welcomed students and their families to the induction ceremony.
“We don't want a language barrier to come between your family and the school,” Miller said. “Our school is diverse, and it’s because of your families.”
She thanked the students for being one of the most dedicated at Cape High.
“Don't ever change who you are. Celebrate your culture, and more importantly, teach us about your culture,” she said.
The guest speaker, Yvonne Willey of La Esperanza, spoke to the group in Spanish, going over their rights under U.S. immigration policy.
“She was trying to tell them they have the right to not answer the door when ICE comes knocking,” Lindale said. “They have rights, too. They are working and paying taxes like everyone else but have to live with the constant worry of being deported even when they have not committed any crimes.”