On Oct. 30, 51 students from Columbus High School and 600 students from schools around Nebraska came to the Ramada Hotel in Columbus to participate in the Latino Youth Summit.
Mrs. Velasco, Mrs. Alarcon and Mrs. Marino were the sponsors of this event and are also the sponsors of the Latino Leadership group at CHS. Mrs Velasco said in an interview, “For this event, students were selected based on how they have displayed positive outlooks and hard work throughout the school. Those who went were also asked to join the group as well. The group was made to show positive leadership in the school.”
The objective of this summit was to welcome students from all over the state and to help show Latino students or students with a Latino background see the importance of getting a higher education so they can get a good paying career later on in life.
This was demonstrated by having two key points: speakers and informational meetings (some of which included visits to local businesses around the city). There were more than five guest speakers at this event, all of which were relaying the same message: you can overcome obstacles and problems you have along the way and that circumstances don't have to be perfect to achieve something you want.
To kick off the day, Jaylen Bender, Emmanuel Guzman, Monserrat Huitron, Natalie Jaracke, Fernando Ortiz, Sarai Pacheco, Alisa Torres and Paola Bautista were chosen to sing the National Anthem. This was a huge accomplishment for all of them. Also during the event more Columbus High students had time to shine. Each school got to nominate 5 big stars. In order to be amongst the big stars, you have to be Latino or of Latino descent and excel in school or extracurricular activities. Columbus High’s 5 big stars were Abigail Aguilar, Yasmin Basulto, Samantha Martinez, Anthony Oceguera, and Stefani Padilla.
Towards the end of the event, students from all schools were eligible to win a $1,000 scholarship. There were 15 in total. These sponsorships were contributions from the Department of Education, The Latino Affairs Department, and The Chamber of Commerce. There was also help from local companies and businesses. CHS senior, Samantha Martinez was the lucky winner to receive one of the $1,000 scholarships.
Overall young adults from all over the state benefited from this event. Be sure to keep your eyes and ears open for next years Latino Youth Summit!