Hurley, NM –A group of elementary students from Hurley, New Mexico are on a mission to live their dream of visiting the nation’s capital in July for a youth leadership conference. They are called the Hurley Super Six.
It is an opportunity of a lifetime for the sixth graders who reside in a community of less than 1,600 residents with one school and one restaurant.
“During the middle of the school year I received a letter to nominate up to 20 students,” sixth grade teacher Rebecca Barragan said. “It was a tough decision but I chose these students based on their academic excellence and leadership skills.”
This is the first time that a group of students from the small town of Hurley are poised to represent their community on the national level. Family, friends and neighbors are rallying around the Super Six to raise the $17,000 needed to make the trip.
“I’m excited because I come from a small town and the drive has to be greater for us and we must have stronger will power to get something like this done,” Barragan said.
The students, named Rocky Arenibas, Ashley Esqueda, Chantel Griggs, Hayley Gutierrez, Brianna Martinez and Zeke Soliz, are equally excited and eager to visit Washington, D.C. for the six-day conference which includes a visit to the White House.
“I want to socialize with people and learn new things,” said Brianna Martinez who attends softball, basketball and volleyball campus offered at her school. Her classmate Hayley Gutierrez echoes her feelings.
“We’ll get to see different cultures from the people that live there and the history behind the memorials.”
All of the six students are active in church and community activities outside school. Inside the classroom, their teacher notices that they stand tall as young leaders.
“They are self directed and they are able to listen and help their classmates be successful,” Barragan said.
The Junior National Young Leaders Conference solicits nominations from around the country for the annual meet up in Washington, D.C. and the Super Six have until June 26 to meet their fundraising deadline. The conference begins July 28.
Already, the students have raised $5,000 through fundraisers and more are planned for the next four weeks including enchilada sales, a car wash and raffles.
The Super Six plan to take their hometown pride and share it with their new friends from across the country.
“Hurley Elementary is a really great school,” said Chantel Grieggs. “If you need help with anything you will get help.”
Her classmate Rocky Arenibas agreed. “If you feel like giving up, there are people around to help.”
Help is what these students need to successfully meet their fundraising goal. Donations are accepted by check to the Hurley Super Six or online through their website http://www.gofundme.com/hurleysuper6. The website includes a video of the students with insights into their school life and their personal reasons on why they believe this experience is important.
Pictured from left to right are Brianna Martinez, Rocky Arenibas, Chantel Griggs, Hayley Gutierrez, Ashley Esqueda and Zeke Soliz.