Two Monrovia High seniors are participating in the Young Legislators Program, hosted by Assemblymember Chris Holden, providing them with the opportunity to learn about the legislative process and the relationship between local and state governments.

Seniors Jiayin Hu and Osvaldo Valdiviezo attend meetings at multiple locations throughout the 41st District, which includes Monrovia, Pasadena, and Claremont, once a month from January through June and cover topics including education, transportation, and science and technology.

The program will conclude with a two-day trip to Northern California that includes touring the State Capitol and attending a Utilities and Energy Committee Hearing, chaired by Assemblymember Holden.

“I’ve always been interested in government and this program is firing me up even more to focus on government,” Valdiviezo said. “This program showed me no matter how small of a change you make, you’ll still make a change and that’ll prove beneficial for the future.”

Hu and Valdiviezo participated in discussions surrounding higher education at University of La Verne and transportation at the Metro headquarters in Los Angeles.

“Jiayin and Osvaldo are learning how to become involved in real discussions and issues taking place in our government today,” Monrovia Unified Board President Terrence Williams said. “These are invaluable experiences that they can carry with them into their futures.”

The students are also learning how laws are made and providing input on legislation. Valdiviezo is learning about a bill that focuses on non-discrimination of employees who use marijuana for medical purposes. Hu is working on a bill that gives cities the ability to extend the time to sell alcohol from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m.

“I feel the bill is supported by us, and I really want it to become a law,” Hu said. “The program is teaching us how to connect with organizations, give our support to legislation, and spread our voices.”

Valdiviezo plans to major in computer science. Hu is an international student from China and will take a gap year to decide on her major. She is considering fields in the liberal arts such as philosophy.

“I think technology today has developed a lot and people have really new, advanced products, but people’s minds still need to keep up along with the development of technology,” Hu said. “People need to have a complete personality and should learn more about themselves.”

Hu and Valdiviezo are learning how Assemblymember Holden’s office helps its communities in the 41st District. They are also strengthening leadership skills by collaborating with 16 other students participating in the program from across the 41st District.

“Thank you to our teachers, who encouraged our students to apply to the program, and to Assemblymember Holden for providing the opportunity to our students to be directly involved in issues happening right now in our state and having them realize their potential to create change,” Superintendent Dr. Katherine Thorossian said. “Monrovia Unified’s programs and curriculum prepare our students to become active citizens in our city, as well as our government.”


042518_MONROVIA_YLP: High school students across Southern California, including Monrovia High seniors Jiayin Hu (back, fifth from left) and Osvaldo Valdiviezo (back, second from right), are participating in Assemblymember Chris Holden’s Young Legislators Program to learn how local and state government intersects with public life.