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June 26th, 2009
Rio Rico Student Chosen as Smithsonian “Young Ambassador”

Washington, D.C.– Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva congratulates Danya Elena Balderrama, a recent high school graduate from Rio Rico, for being selected to participate in the Young Ambassadors program through the Smithsonian Latino Center.

The 2009 Young Ambassadors include aspiring photographers, filmmakers, muralists and performance artists. Additionally, Young Ambassadors have demonstrated active civic responsibility and community service.

The Smithsonian Latino Center is a branch of the Smithsonian Institution that emphasizes Latino contributions to art, science and the humanities through the establishment of public programs, scholarly research, museum collections and educational opportunities at the Smithsonian Institution and its affiliated organizations across the United States and internationally.

“It is great to see our youth excelling in such a positive manner, I am proud that Danya will be representing District 7,” Grijalva said. “The Young Ambassadors program provides students with great opportunities. It is important that young people are given chances to expand their abilitites through unique experiences.”

From June 21 to June 27, students will participate in a cultural enrichment program, which includes visits to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Organization of American States’ Art Museum of the Americas and several other Smithsonian units and museums. Furthermore, students will meet with writer Marie Arana, artist Pepón Osorio and filmmaker Carlos Sandoval.

After the conclusion of the program, the Young Ambassadors will return to their hometowns to participate in a four-week internship at a museum or cultural organization. Danya will intern at the Scottsdale Public Art in Scottsdale, Arizona. She plans on attending the University of Arizona in the fall.

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