CHCI R2L NextGen Program Creates Full-Circle Moment for iCivics Team Member

September 12, 2022

Earlier this summer, iCivics’ Director of Curriculum and Content Taylor Davis and I held a workshop for R2L NextGen students from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) to help them learn more about their constitutional rights.

These high school students discussed the importance of our Constitution and the rights it protects for the people of the United States. They then proceeded to play our game, Do I Have A Right? While playing, students reflected on their experience of stepping into the role of a lawyer and learning to navigate their constitutional rights.

Here is what they had to say:

“I learned how critical our lawyers are in our government and how we depend on our amendments.”

– Linsi Perez, Florida

“I relearned which rights went with which amendments. I learned more in depth details about many amendments. I realized the applications of these amendments and how they help to solve issues that people have.”

– Nicolas R., Florida

“I am wondering whether or not most people are actually aware of these rights and I wonder how these games can continue to impact those who don’t.”

– Alexandra C., Florida

This session was a full-circle moment for me because I was part of the inaugural cohort of CHCI’s R2L NextGen program in the summer of 2011. This civic youth experience was pivotal to my life-long civic journey. R2L NextGen prepared me to get more involved in my hometown of Miami, Florida, and seek more civic opportunities. It taught me that civic participation was vital to your community and it empowered me to become part of my high school’s Student Government Association and later be involved in campus elections at the University of Florida.

Without the experience with CHCI’s R2L NextGen as a sophomore in high school, I would not have the motivation I have today to be civically engaged and connected to my community. I was very impressed with how engaged this group of students was during the game and all the wonderful questions they had! I hope they continue playing our games and making the most of their life-long civic journey.

Written by Michael Reyes

Born in Miami, Florida, Michael has nearly three years of teaching experience in his hometown. At iCivics, Michael manages the Equity in Civics Youth Fellowship and the Youth As Civics Experts Network. He supports our Youth Fellows in finding and using their voices towards their civic passion, a similar experience he went through in high school.