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La Liga de Las Americas

Latino Youth Summit aimed to reduce dropout rate, encourage pursuit of college

Toledo: More than 700 Latino students from northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan gathered at the University of Toledo last Tuesday, May 16, for the 4th Annual Latino Youth Summit.

Rubén Castilla Herrera with María Pizaña and daughters

The event was an opportunity for seventh through 12th grade Latino students to gather with their peers and learn about educational and career opportunities.
“We want the kids to have a fun day,” said Margarita De León, event Chair, adding, prior to the event, that “recreation activities, mock trials, science and math demonstrations, and stock market trading simulations are planned.”
“The primary objectives of this are twofold. First, we want to encourage the kids to graduate from high school. Latinos have a 50 percent drop-out rate,” De León explained. “Second, we want to get them excited about going to college.”
“It’s also a self-esteem builder. Many of these students are the only Latino kids in their schools. To be able to come together at this event, talk with their peers, and see what other kids are doing—that makes them feel good,” De León said.

Workshops were presented by education advocates José Treviño, Joe Balderas, Mona Dokurno, Teresa Rodríguez, TPS’ José Luna, UT’s Latino Student Union, and Armando Bejarano.
In addition to the workshops, students will attend a keynote presentation by Rubén Castilla Herrera, chief consultant of Herrera and Associates of Columbus. Herrera is a government and Latino community activist.

Students who attended the summit were eligible for the President’s Summit Award, a $2,000 UT scholarship renewable for four years, and the Bienvenido Scholarship, worth $250 toward books.
Event collaborators included: UT, Adelante, Inc., COSI, the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library,
Toledo Public Schools, Bowling Green State University, the Sofia Quintero Arts & Cultural Center, and Educators & Community Helping Hispanics Onward (ECHHO).

Andreanna Rivera and
Andon Durán

Prior to the event, a Parents’ Night, or Noche para Los Padres, was held at the downtown Toledo-Lucas County Library, in which workshops focused on the parents of Latinos. Presenters included Dr. Rubén P. Viramontez Anguiano, Adan Madrigal, Mona McGhee, and Albert A. Flores.

Andon Durán, son of Angela Durán, was recognized for his accomplishments as a St. John’s Jesuit High School student and graduate. Durán has been awarded the Presidential Maximus Scholarship and the Merrill Scholarship, providing him with a full four year paid tuition to Ohio State University, which he plans to attend in the fall as a Business major. 

Parent’s night was organized by Adelante, coordinated by Adelante’s Andreanna Rivera.






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