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UT’s Latino Youth Summit features Carlos Ojeda on May 7

Motivational speaker Carlos Ojeda Jr. is scheduled to give the keynote address at the annual University of Toledo Latino Youth Summit on Wednesday, May 7, 2008, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Student Union on UT’s Main Campus.

In his speeches, Ojeda urges students to actively live each day of their lives and make a lasting and positive impact as they interact with the world.

Designed to reinforce the importance of education for Latino students in grades 7 through 12, the summit offers workshops highlighting careers and principles in education, business, engineering, science and medicine.

“This is an opportunity to get students on a college campus and introduce them to the idea of education beyond high school,” said Cecilia Rivera, events coordinator at UT and a member of the committee coordinating the event.
“Many students may never have had a relative who went to college or may think they can’t go because of financial reasons. We want to make sure students know that with drive and initiative, people who grew up under similar circumstances were able to transition to higher education and that they can, too,” Rivera concluded.
According to Rivera, many of those who volunteer to assist in putting on the summit attended it when they were younger and now go to a community college or university. UT faculty and staff also assist in various aspects of planning the summit and individual education workshops.
According to Ojeda’s Web site (www.carlosojedajr.com), “he has been called one of the most dynamic speakers under thirty….today and the remarkable journey of his life began in the streets of Newark, New Jersey and later to Reading, Pennsylvania where his immigrant parents saw opportunities for themselves and for their first generation Puerto Rican children.

“Growing up proved to be a difficult task, particularly school. Not understanding his social, economical and cultural background, many of his high school teachers told him he would never amount to anything. One teacher once called him, ‘the greatest piece of garbage he had ever seen.’

“Yet his drive, passion and dreams led him to overcome those obstacles and pursue a career of life learning and educational success, being the first person in his family to graduate from college with honors. His experiences have led him to always remind Latino youth to, “never….let anyone tell you who you are or what you will become. That’s your destiny to fulfill, no one else’s.”

More than 700 students from northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan are expected to attend.
For more information, contact Sabina Elizondo-Serratos, Director of the Office of Latino Initiatives, at






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