Our mission is to educate and empower future leaders. To provide them with the confidence, support, and skills necessary so they can take an active role in their community’s development.
Mi Familia Vota (MFV) Education Fund’s Youth Leadership and Civic Engagement Program is a 9-month program designed to prepare and emerge the young electorate (17-24-year-old) as agents of change through continuous civic engagement opportunities.
In the summer, students will meet for a five-day leadership summit at Rice University where they will have the opportunity to meet with experts in immigration, education, civil rights, and public policy.
Additionally, Fellows will meet twice a month to learn about policy processes and how they can directly impact their community’s issues.
A crucial and unique component of the program is the access that Mi Familia Vota Education Fund provides to real campaigns and actions that address issues that are affecting our community. Non-mandatory aspects of the program include the opportunity to call, write, and/or meet an elected official for a discussion about an item of the youth political agenda not as advocacy, but as a skill and developmental knowledge activity. Additionally, students will be provided with opportunities to attend Congressional town hall meetings, elected bodies meetings (City Council, School board, etc.), debate watch parties, press conferences, rallies, marches, and other civic engagement actions. Fellows will eventually learn to organize and lead events in their schools and communities. Events organized by Fellows in the past have included voter registration drives, Know Your Rights presentations, and Mayoral Debate town hall meeting.
Vision and Purpose
Widespread civic engagement is the lifeblood of any well-functioning democratic society. Unfortunately, many groups are not equally involved in public life. According to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Engagement, Latino youth are the least engaged and most civically alienated ethnic and racial group in the United States. Two out of every five Latino youth do not feel connected to civic life. This is especially troubling in a city like Houston where Latinos are the single largest ethnic group. We seek to promote awareness of the issues facing local Latinos while at the same time encouraging electoral participation to ensure their voice is heard at all levels of government.
The Emerging Latino Leaders Fellowship envisions a future where youth take ownership of their community. First, we must challenge talented young Houstonians to see themselves as more then just passive community members, but active agents of change. By empowering the youth of today, we can work towards building a healthy and vibrant society for tomorrow.