Last week, Mi Familia Vota and OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates brought over forty Houston-area students together for a week of education, reflection, and action around important issues impacting our community.
At the beginning of the Emerging Latino Leaders summit, participants connected with their peers from over 20 different high schools. They then worked together to begin exploring different conceptions of leadership and the ways that they could grow as leaders throughout the week and the school year.
With the summit in full swing, the ELL participants got to work identifying and learning about the community issues that most impact them and their families. Through conversations and activities with community leaders, activists, and their fellow participants, they began to develop a youth agenda that named some of their most pressing concerns as young people of color living in the City of Houston.
Throughout the week, participants also gained insight and inspiration from several guest speakers, including a panel of leaders just a few years older than them who are already making change happen in their schools, neighborhoods, and other communities.
The summit wrapped up on Friday with a mock town hall. Elected officials from the Pearland School Board all the way up to the Texas Senate stopped by to listen to questions the students had written based off of their experiences during the week, their youth agenda, and research that they conducted independently.
Thanks to all the students, staff, volunteers, partner organizations and donors that helped make this year’s summit a success! We hope to see many of our ELL students again in the fall.