Llano Grande student Edgar Diaz, who graduated this past June from Edcouch-Elsa High School, was selected from more than 300 national applicants to serve as an Associate Board Member for the State Farm Youth Advisory Board.
He is one of 17 youth from across the United States and Canada selected through a competitive process based on youth leadership experience and a telephone interview. The State Farm Youth Advisory Board includes students ages 17 to 20. As a leadership board, they oversee a $5 million-a-year State Farm funded initiative.
Edgar was critical in helping his school and the Llano Grande Center write the grant application for the recently awarded $100,000 Youth Advisory Board grant. Under this program, he is leading a group of students who will serve as college application mentors for the local community, providing guidance to students and their parents on the various aspects of applying to college, securing financial aid, and preparing for the transition into a new learning environment. He and his team have already partnered with the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg, TX, to host a financial literacy training this summer that will benefit youth and community members by providing assistance in financial planning for college.
The Youth Advisory Board will oversee the awarding of grants to student-led service-learning projects, which will address important community issues like teen seatbelt use and disaster preparedness. They will work in a virtual environment and convene for four meetings throughout the next year. The first 2009-2010 Board meeting will be at State Farm’s Corporate Headquarters in Bloomington, Ill. on June 29.
“Education is the most important issue in the world. It provides fairness, peace and structure, but a lack of education causes abuse of power. I believe all people around the world deserve a chance to improve their education, no matter age, race, or gender.” said Edgar Diaz
Edgar will serve a one year term with the opportunity to serve an additional year. He will commit about 15 hours a month to the board. As an Associate Board Member, Edgar will receive a $3,000 scholarship. He will be considered for a second term as a board member and an additional $5,000 scholarship. Board members use the scholarships for post-secondary education at a four-year, two-year, or vocational training program.
“These exceptional students are already leaders in their communities,” said Fred Marsh with State Farm, Texas Zone Vice President of Operations. “This investment in young people reflects State Farm’s sincere commitment to tapping the passion and expertise of our younger generation.”
In February, the board awarded grants to youth-led service-learning projects that addressed disaster preparedness, driver safety, financial education, environmental responsibility and access to higher education/closing the achievement gap.