A grand visit


Jessie Ortiz

Mr. Voight presents Lou Correa to the students.

On Friday, August 31, as time drew closer to 9:30 a.m., the freshmen class, along with ASB, waited for the arrival of Lou Correa, the congressman representing our 46th district in Washington D.C.  While students were waiting in a lecture hall, SAC students also came in just to say “Hi” to the congressman. Before Correa made his way to the lecture hall, though, once he was on campus, he had to find the nearest place to get a cup of coffee. He and a Spellbinder reporter made their way to the office and grabbed a cup of coffee from the office staff room.

“I wanted to come to talk to you about careers, Congress, opportunities, about how great America is, and how it is still the greatest country in the world, and that we should take advantages of the great opportunities that this country offers us,” he told the reporter, while he drank his coffee.

At the lecture hall, he asked questions of the freshmen, like what they wanted as a career, and he talked about the Young Congressional Leaders program. In the Young Congressional Leaders program, he and teenagers that attend a school in the district talk about their issues and concerns. “I want to open up opportunities to all the wonderful students that belong to my district.” They meet once a month on a Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. After his lecture was over, several students came up to him to introduce themselves and ask him questions about the program.

Congressman Correa knows the struggle of being in a family of ten in a two-bedroom house and having to translate for his parents from Spanish to English with the little English he knew. He wanted to be a fighter pilot as kid, but the U.S. Air Force turned him down. After that, he went to UCLA and when he went back to the Air Force, they told him they did not need any fighter pilots. His time was never right to become a fighter pilot, so he turned to something else. Correa became a politician to affect change in his community. He wanted to be a leader, somebody who serves the community. It angers him when politicians and other people decided what was best for the community without the community’s input. Whatever the community needs and wants, Correa works to provide for them, instead of deciding what is best for his community.

“You know, any institution we talk about admiring, it’s the students. What makes every institution unique are the students that make the personality, the drive. So, I love the students that have shown the interest to be focused at this early age because I did not have that,” he says, when he talks about his admiration for Middle College.

The advice he gives Middle College students is to pursue our dreams and to not let anyone tell us we cannot do it. In life we only have so many opportunities, and we should not let others, or ourselves, tell us we cannot achieve our goals.

This is not the only school where Correa has come to talk to students. He is trying to go to every public school in the district to talk to students. After he came to visit MCHS, he went to Samueli Academy to talk to their students.

Congressman Lou Correa said, “In this country there are so many opportunities. The question is, are you ready to take advantage of those opportunities?”