De La Salle North Catholic photo
Lorena Hernandez in Washington, D.C.
De La Salle North Catholic photo
Lorena Hernandez in Washington, D.C.
Lorena Hernandez, a senior at De La Salle North Catholic High School in Portland, traveled to Washington, D.C. from in March to learn about the nation’s justice system, government and the law.

Hernandez' trip was sponsored by the American Bar Association.

Participants met national leaders in these fields and connected with other interested peers. They also enjoyed behind-the-scenes tours at buildings and facilities in the nation’s capital, in addition to visiting important sites like the new Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial.

Hernandez was one of only 19 students from across the country to attend, having been recommended by Edward Zupcic, a teacher at De La Salle North, after the opportunity was presented to him by Jim Westwood, a partner at Stoel Rives, LLP and a coach of De La Salle North’s Constitution Law team.

“I feel really blessed for the opportunity,” Hernandez says.

During her trip to Washington D.C., she met Julissa Reynoso, the Ambassador Designate to Uruguay and Elisabeth MacNamara, president of the League of Women Voters. The group toured the Library of Congress, explored the National Museum of American History and met a judge, among other activities.

“I had never met a judge before, so I was not sure what to expect,” she says. “He was great! Friendly, honest, entertaining and funny.”

The trip was an opportunity to experience first-hand the interconnectedness of law and government, as well as career opportunities in these fields.

“It helped me be more confident and network more,” Hernandez says.

Hernandez will be graduating with the De La Salle North Catholic Class of 2012 in June. De La Salle North is a Catholic high school in north Portland serving low-income students with a college preparatory education that includes a Corporate Internship Program. Over 95 percent of graduating seniors are accepted to college.

A baccalaureate Mass and reception will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, June 8 at Christ the Teacher Chapel at the University of Portland. The De La Salle North graduation ceremony will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 9 at Concordia University.