During a four day retreat in February 2016, Garcia Hernández Sawhney, LLP Partner Mary Hernández participated as a mentor in the launch of the English Learner Leadership and Legacy Initiative (ELLLI). ELLLI is a program of Californians Together in partnership with the California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE). The goal of the Initiative is to develop a new generation of strong, skilled, courageous leaders to advocate for English Learner students.
As part of a statewide succession planning effort, the ELLLI Steering Committee selected 19 fellows out of approximately 75 applicants to be paired with mentors and be supported in advocacy projects. Mary stated: “It was so inspiring to be in the midst of so many pioneers such as Laurie Olsen, Peter Schilla, Shelly Spiegel-Coleman, Maria Quezada, Alberto Ochoa, Martha Zaragoza-Diaz, Anaida Colon-Muñiz, Magaly Lavadenz, Jan Gustafson-Corea and Rosalia Salinas, just to name just a few. And the fellows who signed up for the three year program were amazing to meet – they give me great hope for the future.”
The kick-off included interactive case studies, an in-depth history of U.S. politics, policies, and court cases involving education of limited English proficient students, and project development for the fellows.