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Día de Los Niños and Youth Summits

The last week in April was all about children—it was about their future, their needs and how the community is addressing those needs.

The Ohio Hispanic Coalition ( OHC ), in partnership with the National Latino Children’s Institute, the Columbus Youth Commission, and dozens of community based organizations, presented the Youth Summit on April 29, followed by Día de los Niños on April 30—both events were at the Westland Mall in Columbus, Ohio.

Joy Parker, Photographer; 
photos courtesy of Nationwide Insurance

These two annual events, which are sponsored by Nationwide Insurance since 2003 and 2000, respectively, center on child safety and creating positive influences on niños in the community, by declaring their own day.

This year, the Columbus Youth Summit focused on the challenges faced by immigrant students in the educational system.

City of Columbus council members Charleta Tavares and Kevin Boyce, and Columbus ’ director of public services, Henry Guzmán, attended the Youth Summit and had words of guidance for the students.

Guzmán talked about respect for adults and teachers and the importance of being bilingual and ongoing development. Feelings shared by immigrants—such as isolation, not understanding the culture, not being able to realize self-expression, or not feeling very smart—were echoed by panelists and audience. Solutions included seeking the advice of positive role models, and empowering oneself by always reaching higher levels.

Día de los Niños, a free fun event, with activities, prizes, food and information for the entire family, included a children’s parade of nations, traditional Latin American children’s games, art contest, and a Columbus Latino Idol contest.

“Nationwide is a company that truly believes in the development and empowerment of our youth, consistently presents the local organizations with unique partnership opportunities, and makes sure the Latino community has access to quality services,” said Julia Arbini-Carbonell, president of the OHC.

Children’s day is traditionally observed in México and other parts of Latin America to honor children. In the United States , April 30th has been designated as the official commemorative day.

Toledo ’s Youth Summit is scheduled for May 10 at the University of Toledo , with a parents’ night on May 9, starting at 6:00PM —this is the 3rd Annual Latino Youth Summit’s Noche Para Los Padres, with Dr. Caleb Rosado of the Dept. of Urban Studies at Eastern University in Philadelphia as the guest speaker at both functions.








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