YES Prep Public Schools
Nella Urban Garcia

The YES Prep Latinx Leadership Summit, held on Saturday, October 28, was one of the absolute best, yet. It was in large part due to the incredible leaders; Lilian Moguel Macias, Natalie Garcia and Kimberly Gallegos. Many other YES Prep Latinx leaders also gave of their time and talents to support the summit and the experience of the students.

Over 200 YES Prep students from across our secondary schools engaged in a day where they connected with their peers, learned how to lead at their schools and feel honored in their accomplishments.  

    Latinx Summit Guest Panelists

Here's a recap of the day students experienced together with representation from almost every single campus at YES Prep:  

  • Student performances highlighting Latinx culture and music. A highlight included the YES Prep Northside Orgullo dance team, performing contemporary routines to Mexican music. Another was from Diego Montes, YES Prep Northbrook High School senior performing an original piece on his guitar. MJ Urban Garcia, from YES Prep Southwest performed a contemporary piece commenting on justice for Latina women.  
  • A college lecture on Latinx literature from the highly distinguished professor, Paul Guajardo
  • Panels from Latinx leaders in the professional world 
  • Leadership sessions focused on how to show up and lead from your identity with Eileen Romero Galligan, our Managing Director of Leadership Development at YES Prep
  • Celebration of the Class of 2023 with a long-standing tradition of a stole for graduation

There were so many aspects to the day that made it special for the students. From the delicious lunch options to their soccer-themed jersey to wear on campus representing their culture, it was a positive experience that we know many students will return to each year.

During the leadership session, students were asked how they can show leadership in their schools now.

Senior Adrian A student came up to the mic and shared his story. "I am a student with a lower GPA. This means that many people think I can't do much, that I don't have much to offer, that I'm not about anything. But I am. For Homecoming this year, I led the efforts to bring a vendor and activity fair to the event. And it was this group of other Latinx leaders here, my friends, that helped me make it happen. I know I have a low GPA, but I am also a lot more than that."

Another student told me that he wants to be a panelist next year when he is in college!  

Another shared she knows that students at her school are watching her, and she shows leadership because of that.  

Watching our summit grow from our very first year gives me so much orgullo. 

Please enjoy some of my favorite pictures from the day!

Thank you to our Sponsor, Enbridge!

A dedicated supporter who has donated over $1 million since 2002, Enbridge is one of YES Prep’s first corporate donors and has consistently supported YES Prep for 20 years.  

Enbridge annually invests in YES Prep’s mission-critical programs including our College Initiatives program, Leading Excellence leadership development program, back-to-school supply drives, Keep YES Prep Learning virtual distance learning program and, most recently, our annual Student Affinity Summits.

To learn more about our YES Prep Affinity Summits, visit our webpage


About The Author

Nella Urban Garcia serves as the Chief External Officer at YES Prep. Nella joined YES Prep in August of 2004 as a founding teacher at the YES Prep North Central campus where she taught various subjects in the humanities for two years. In 2007. Nella transitioned out of school leadership and into the Director of Teacher Development role where she led the Teaching Excellence Program for four years. Nella is married to Pierre Urban and they have two children – Mikaela Jo and Pierre Juan.   

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