Donna High School junior Amanda Valle knows that she is going to college but is not so sure what career path she wants to pursue.

The 16-year-old hopes to get a clearer picture when she attends the prestigious University of Texas McCombs School of Business Subiendo Academy June 10-14 in Austin. The five-day summer leadership program is designed to prepare young leaders to address the needs of the next generation by problem-solving issues in health care, energy/environment, and education.

Valle is excited that she was selected to participate in the program. She was among 80 candidates chosen from a pool of 500 applicants nationwide.

IMG_6911“I found out about this program in my college Rhetoric course. Our professor Mr. Evert Villarreal brought it to the attention of our class. I had an interest in it so I applied. At first, I was sent an email that said ‘thank you’ for applying. I thought I was rejected and started to cry but then I opened the link and it said congratulations. I was so excited.”

She said she is particularly interested in the education session because of the many leadership roles the field has to offer. “I really enjoy being a leader. I think I get this from my upbringing. I’m the youngest child so I’ve always had to follow in my siblings’ footsteps. I want to break away from that and distinguish myself as a leader. I want to be the person who people look up to.”

The participants will have a unique opportunity to address real world challenges with today’s top business, political, and education leaders. According to the Subiendo Academy’s website, the program will provide students with:

  • training and team building exercises to help them gain leadership skills,
  • opportunities to network with prominent business and political figures,
  • project based learning curriculum to analyze current policy issues,
  • communications workshops to help with delivery of presentations at the state capitol,
  • mentoring and guidance from accomplished community and student leaders, and
  • access to a lifelong network of Subiendo alumni, friends and supporters.

As a member of several organizations including the Debate Club, Book Club, and Student Ambassadors program, Valle is on her way to making a name for herself.