Youth Summit to be held May 7
By Kevin Milliken, La Prensa Correspondent
Hundreds of Latino teens from Toledo Public Schools (TPS)
will be exposed to career and college prep information during
the 12th annual Latino Youth Summit, Wed., May 7, 2014,
at the University of Toledo.
While last year’s event was a two-day affair, the harsh winter
forced drastic changes to the TPS academic year and prompted
scheduling conflicts with the district. As a result, the summit
was scaled back to one day this year.
“The one downfall this year is lower numbers. The snow days are
really going to hurt us this year as we will not see any TPS
elementary school attendance because they are making up their
OGT tests and the change came too late to switch the entire
program,” explained Cecilia Rivera, UT Greek Life
coordinator and Latino Youth Summit
The program is geared directly toward the Latino student, with a
full school day on a university campus with college professors
or students as presenters and guides. Results of studies show
that preparation for college success needs to begin early and
must be sustained throughout their
Between 500 and 600 Latino junior high and high school youths
attended last year’s summit.
According to the Latino Youth Summit website, one of the
summit’s goals is to address the Latino achievement gap in
northwest Ohio and the reality of a growing Latino population.
The summit seeks to arm youth and families with
college planning and career
path information through sessions about pre-high school and
pre-college coursework and information about various
occupational fields. Emphasis is placed on the importance of
skills in science, math and technology in today's job market.
“It gives the students that one-on-one time to ask questions and
see firsthand some of the amazing things our students experience
at UT every day,” said Ms. Rivera. “Most of our volunteers are
UT alumni, staff and students, so it gives them great
Students are divided into specific programming tracks by grade
level. Each track has specific activities for each age group,
which include hands-on pharmacy and engineering workshops,
team-building and self-esteem building exercises, test taking
presentations, how to succeed in school by peer panels, and a
Latino students are given the opportunity to meet
representatives from colleges that comprise ECHHO (Educators in
College Helping Hispanics Onward). The college fair allows
students to obtain information pertaining to college admission
and scholarship opportunities. The summit provides ECHHO members
with an opportunity to interact with the largest gathering of
Latino youth from Northwest Ohio.
executive director at La Casa de Amistad in South Bend,
Indiana will serve as the keynote speaker. He has worked as a
higher education professional at a number of universities and
also served as the national president of the Sigma Lamda Beta
international fraternity. Ms. Rivera
saw him speak at a conference and felt his message would
fit the summit well.
“This presentation talks about the significance of family,
tradition and the importance for people to work together and
drive towards common goals,” she said.
Eight lucky seniors who plan to attend UT in the fall will be
awarded scholarships at the Latino Youth Summit. The scholarship
covers a year of on- campus housing and provides $8,000 in
tuition, to be split up in $2,000 increments over 4 years.
served as the other co-chairperson for the Latino Youth Summit.
The committee each year reads as a who’s who list of Toledo-area
Latino educators, among them: José Luna, José Treviño, Mary
Morales, José Rosales, Angie Durán, Felicia Guerrero, Betty
Anzaldua, Aleiah Jones, Natalie Guzmán, Michele Martínez,
Melanie Muñoz, Ana Fackelman, and Angela López.
The Parent’s Night component of the program also has been
removed from the program this year. Poor attendance for the
evening event has plagued that portion of the Latino Youth
Summit in recent years.
But a little-known component of the Latino Youth Summit extends
into the summer for the benefit of migrant farmworker children.
That summer program has two components, one of them aimed at
elementary school-age children. According to Ms. Rivera, it’s a
daytime program where different camps come to the engineering
side of campus for a couple of hours of hands-on
workshops. Age-appropriate activities are planned, so that
younger children do easier things like flashlights made from
batteries and the older kids do something more advanced.
The other component is an overnight program focused on math and
science aimed at students in grades 8-12. Those older
students spend a day-and-a-half on the UT campus doing workshops
in chemistry, engineering, and pharmacy.
“They get to spend the night in a residence hall, utilize the
rec center and then we typically take them somewhere in the city
for dinner,” explained Ms. Rivera. “Last year we did a catered
dinner on the Sandpiper boat. This event is grant-funded
through a partnership with the Ohio Migrant Education Center.”
Parents or individuals with questions in advance of the Latino
Youth Summit may call 419.530.4036 or email