By Maricruz Cabrera, Coachella Unincorporated
Leaders of Tomorrow, a group of college and high school students from the Eastern Coachella Valley, is not waiting for the future to bring about change in their community
They are taking the initiative and making a difference in their community today.
The organization, also known as LOT, was established in 2011 with the purpose of improving education, health and social issues in the Eastern Coachella Valley.
According to Jose Chiquito, executive director of LOT, the group was founded in April of 2011. Some of the early members were part of another group called CV’s Hope, who was dedicated to helping the community but focused mainly on environmental issues. In the earthquake that hit the Baja California area in 2010, CV’s Hope joined efforts with Comite Latino to provide food for those affected by the earthquake. In a week they were able to provide food for over 300 families, according to Chiquito.
The group now includes students currently attending schools such as College of the Desert, Coachella Valley High School, Cal State Pomona and California State University of San Bernardino.
“We work with what we have, we don’t get anything from any organizations,” said Chiquito. “We are supporting the organization by ourselves.”
Providing educational information to AB540 students is one way in which they are working to improve educational opportunities in the Eastern Coachella Valley.
According to Chiquito, there is not enough information available for AB540 students in the Eastern Coachella Valley. Leaders of Tomorrow member Cristian Cabrera defined an AB540 student as an undocumented student who is studying in California and is eligible to pay in-state-tuition. LOT holds informational workshops that focus on AB540 students in both high school and college. In addition, the group updates students on available scholarships via their Facebook page.
“I think it (LOT) has the potential to inform students about all the things there are to help them, and by that I mean both educational and personal, as well as leadership and community service activities,” said Cabrera.
The group’s next community service project is a cleanup day in Thermal scheduled to take place Saturday, January 21. LOT is asking individuals interested in volunteering to visit their Facebook page where details regarding the cleanup event will be posted.