Romy Greenwald leads MiSendero workshop

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Jed Greenwald

The club at the MiSendero workshop

Autumn Litten, Reporter

DPHS junior Romy Greenwald, led the MiSendero Workshop at the Annual Latine College Day at UCSB on Saturday, April 16th with the help of DPHS senior Franko Bernuy, DPHS junior Santiago Lupi, SBHS junior Joseline Gonzalez, and immense support from Ms. Selzler.  MiSendero is a youth-led initiative for monolingual Spanish-speaking students to become leaders and tutor their peers in the language. MiSendero worked closely with El Congreso de UCSB and was featured in a workshop that hundreds of students from many parts of California attended. Over 250 students attended the Latine College Day, with around 60 students and teachers attending the two MiSendero Workshop sessions. The workshop was focused on teaching other students how to either start a MiSendero chapter at their school or how to get involved in an already existing chapter. At DPHS, students can get involved in MiSendero by joining the club or by visiting the website for more information about MiSendero as well as for contact information.

Greenwald organized the workshop, communicated with El Congreso de UCSB, reached out to students to gain attendance, instructed other youth leaders on how to teach peers, and delivered the presentation. The workshop has been in the making since this fall, and many club meetings in the Spring semester were spent planning it. Youth Making Change, a teen-led grant program, gave the MiSendero Club $2,500 to put on the workshop. Greenwald was inspired to start the MiSendero Club at DPHS because she is of Mexican and Cuban descent, and understands the struggles of English learners. “My mother was an English learner and I have always been more sensitive to the challenges English Learners face. I started MiSendero as a way to bridge the gap between English learners and their English-speaking peers.” The workshop helped gain interest in MiSendero among students and teachers from outside of the SB Unified district, and due to these high-interest levels from both teachers and students, MiSendero is expanding beyond Santa Barbara County, where it is already at all of the high schools and will soon be in all of the junior highs. Students and teachers from North County, as well as Ventura, were particularly interested and MiSendero will soon be expanding to these locations. 

Greenwald was proud of the success of her efforts, “It was so amazing to get to share MiSendero with so many students and teachers…we heard from many of them how inspired they felt after attending our workshop to become leaders in their communities.” She also was “so proud of our youth leaders who were instrumental in making [the workshop] so effective and impacting these students.” 

Note: This article was originally published in May 2022.

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