On February 16, students from Joliet Central High School attended the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute Conference. The event took place at the Sheraton Grand Chicago with the theme, “Creating a Culture of Education.”
“The goal of the student leadership conference is to ensure that every child has the opportunity to obtain the level of education that is consistent with his or her maximum potential and the opportunity to be successful in life and career,” said Joliet Central High School Counselor Aseneth Riuz. “Their objective is to motivate students to stay in school, improve their academic performance, graduate and to pursue and successfully complete some level of post-secondary education and training.”
At the event, students were inspired by the words of Miss U.S. Latina 2016, Stefany Jacobo, who challenged our students to never forget where they come from, while taking advantage of opportunities that come their way.
Denice Frohman, poet and writer and educator, shared two poems with the over 3,200 students in attendance. She reminded students to be proud they are bilingual, and she spoke about Dreamers and the challenges they have to overcome in order to make their dreams come true.
The featured speaker was Ernie G, empowerment comedian. Through humor, he conveyed the message that education changes the perception that people have of Latinos in the United States. Ernie G shared his lifelong motto, “If it is to be, it is up to me,” challenging students to work hard and follow their hearts and let their light shine.
Students also took advantage of the Career and College Recruitment Fair, featuring recruiters from more than 80 colleges and universities nationwide, as well as an Exhibit Show tour that featured USHLI’s corporate, labor, government sponsors, and non-profit exhibitors, which provided students information on opportunities for youth in their organizations and information regarding internships, scholarships and employment.
There was also a session featuring an expert on funding a post-secondary education and financial aid. A second session featured a nationally known motivational speaker on life and leadership development.