During our last session of Camp Promise, Victor Ortiz, a sixth grader at Castle Park Elementary School, stood out as a leader and friend to all. Victor has attended every session of Camp Promise since the fifth grade, but this summer session, his first as a sixth grader, his abilities and values as a Chavista inspired us all.
This school year Camp Promise partnered with Junior Achievement, an organization dedicated to teaching students about finance, economics, and entrepreneurship. The curriculum from Junior Achievement prepared students for a field trip to BizTown in which they would get a job, start a business, and manage money. The students' jobs were selected prior to the field trip through job applications and interviews, including Victor's job as BizTown Mayor.
To gain this position Victor needed to be nominated by his class; without any direction, he stood up in front of his peers and gave a speech in which he listed his qualifications. Needless to say he won the nomination by a landslide. With little help from staff he wrote a speech citing some of the Chavista Values and pointed out that he would be a fair and effective leader. Victor was nominated along with three other students, and as a group they gave their speeches to each of the four camp classes. The elections were scheduled for the next day; Victor decided to arrive 30 minutes early to put up his posters and campaign as the students arrived, the only nominee to do so. After the votes were counted and he was announced as the first Camp Promise Mayor, he humbly accepted and shook the hands of his fellow nominees.
At BizTown, Victor's duties as mayor included opening the day, managing city hall activities, awarding citizens for their outstanding achievements, and closing the day. He spoke with pride and encouraged all students to do their best. Throughout the day, he worked well with the other students placed at city hall and respected their roles.
Victor is a leader whose confidence is enveloped in humility and driven by his care for the people around him. It takes a very special student who is quiet in demeanor to have such a large influence, and the integrity of Victor's actions afford him that influence. Day after day, our staff notice how his peers look up to him and aspire to be like him. He is a phenomenal young man, to say the least!