The 2021 LatinX Leadership Summit took place on Saturday, March 27, 2021, from 9 – 2 p.m. This year’s summit revolved around the question "What’s next for the LatinX community?". Due to COVID-19, the summit took on a virtual model, where campuses offered their students a 100% virtual summit experience. This year, a total of 14 secondary campuses participated. A total of 200 students registered and joined us this year.
Day of the summit
Thanks to this year’s virtual model, all of the summit sessions were available through Microsoft Teams. The summit kicked off with a welcome, where this year’s theme was introduced, as well as expectations from participants and a fun ice breaker on LatinX culture. Students had the opportunity to hear from outside guests and ask questions. They celebrated their culture, heard about important topics and students submitted their answers to the very important question; "What’s next for the LatinX Community?".
Students engaged in a series of panels on topics affecting the LatinX Community. This year’s sessions were the following:
Now What: Immigration and DACA students were able to hear from guests about what is happening with DACA right now. Guest included but not limited to Cesar Espinoza, organizational leader from Fiel; a representative from US Representative Sheila Jackson Lee’s office; and Leboriah Chavez, current student at UHD and the Student Body Vice President.
What Can Change: College and Generational Wealth students heard about how to navigate the world after college and how to combat generational stigmas when it comes to education. Guest speakers included but were not limited to Leboriah Chavez, current student at UHD and the Student Body Vice President; Crystal Gonzalez from Hewlett-Packard; and Dinorah Sanchez with Cityworks.
Where Do We Fit: LatinX and the Racial Pandemic taught students that we can be allies in the world where we are fighting for equity across the nation and in the education world. Students heard from Mario Salinas, Coordinator for the Pep Mueller Community Center in Aldine and from YES Prep Chief Program Officer, Nella Garcia Urban.
What Do We Change: How can YES Prep honor our LatinX community in their school system discussed ways that the YES Prep Public Schools can continue to support the LatinX Community. Students were able to ask questions to Luly Castillo, YES Prep Alumni, President of the Alumni Association and YES Prep Board Member; YES Prep Chief Program Officer, Nella Garcia Urban; YES Prep Chief Talent Officer, Jose “Tony” Munoz; and YES Prep Chief Financial Officer, Luis Mena.
After the event, the participants were asked how attending the summit had impacted their impression or experience of YES Prep Public Schools, here is what they said:
"The panelists that taught us more about the LaitnX community were amazing and I got to learn more about our background and our similarities. It was a first time for me which made it more exciting to be a part of something this big for me." – Ingrid Enciso, 11th grader at Southeast
"I really liked the enthusiasm and how everyone felt brave enough to share their personal stories! I think this was a great way for people to say what they had to say, educate/learn, and feel motivated." – Genesi Herrera, 11th grader at North Forest
"My experience was awesome. It was eye-opening and heartfelt, I truly felt connected to my Latin friends (whether I know them or not)." – Isabella Cruz, 11th grader at Northbrook High School
"Overall, I truly enjoyed the LatinX summit and learning about so many different aspects of my LatinX culture that I will have to use and learn how to appreciate through life." – Faith Pena, 12th grader at North Forest
“[We received] so much information that is very important that I think we all needed to hear from others to understand.” – Darleen Domingo, 7th grader at Northwest
Guests & Contributors
- Mario Salinas, Coordinator for the Pep Mueller Community Center in Aldine
- Cesar Espinoza, FIEL
- Brenda Lozano, Brenda Lozano Photography, Latinos for Education
- Carolina Paz Giraldo, Kite Educational Innovations
- Leboriah Chavez, University of Houston Downtown
- Andy Canales, Latinos for Education
- Rick Rodriguez, Latinos for Education
- Claudia Ruiz, Latinos for Education
- Tony Munoz, Chief Talent Officer, YES Prep Public School
- Nella Garcia Urban, Chief Programs Officer, YES Prep Public Schools
- Luis Mena, Chief Financial Officer, YES Prep Public Schools
- Eileen Galligan, Principal at YES Prep Southeast Secondary
- Jose Monterrosa, Imagina Communications
- Juan Sazo, Sazo Counseling and Communication
- Juan Alanis, Big Oak Tree Media
- Katia Arranda, Katssica
- Luly Castillo, Halliburton
- Tony Diaz, Nuestra Palabra, Librotraficante
- Javier Osornio, College Counselor at YES Prep Southeast
- Claudia Lozano, Spanish Teacher at YES Prep North Forest
- Flor Bolainez, World Geography Teacher at YES Prep North Central
- Lesly Cristino, People Operations & Strategy Manager, YES Prep Public Schools
- Ronald Castro, Mexican American Studies, APUSH, Research Methods, Teacher at YES Prep White Oak Secondary
- Yenit Jimenez, Student Support Counselor at YES Prep Hoffman Middle School
- Anahi Ortiz Acosta, Social Studies Teacher at YES Prep North Central Secondary
- Bryan Barahona, World History & AP Teacher at YES Prep Eisenhower
A special thanks to this year’s Latinx Leadership Summit co-leads Lilian Macias, Director of Student Support at North Central, Natalie Garcia, Director of Student Support at Brays Oaks and Kimberly Gallegos, Special Projects Coordinator at YES Prep.
About the YES Prep Annual Affinity Summits
In 2016, YES Prep revised its core values to better reflect the reason it was founded: to eliminate educational inequities and advance social justice. As part of this focus, YES Prep expanded its efforts to provide opportunities for students to develop pride in their identities and build relationships within the communities with which they identify. YES Prep believes that these efforts will strengthen students’ support systems and build their self-confidence, increasing the likelihood of their success in college and beyond.
To learn more about our Affinity Summits, click here.