GRCC Annual Latino Youth Conference March 6 Encourages Middle-School Students to Reach For Dreams

Students representing thirty-three schools from across Kent County will attend the 13th annual, student-led Latino Youth Conference March 6 beginning at 9 a.m. in the Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse on the GRCC campus.  The conference is open to all 8th grade area youth.

The theme of this year’s conference is “The Power of Dreams” and will focus on encouraging 8th grade students to continue their education beyond high school.  Latino youth specifically represent the highest high school drop-out rate of any population both in West Michigan and across the country.

There will be numerous educational sessions organized by community members to help prepare students to access higher education.  Among the session topics are:Self-Esteem, Keys To Success, Living Your Dreams, How To Study, and What Your GPA Means. 

 “We want the students to experience the college atmosphere while learning new skills and recognizing their own potential to shape their futures,” said Conference Chair and GRCC Diversity Learning Center Director Chris Arnold.

The keynote speaker is Gabe Salazar, youth motivational speakerwhose topic will be “Be Heard: Voice, Questions, Answers, Knowledge, Power.”  Salazar recently celebrated reaching his one millionth student and has been recognized as America’s number one Latino youth speaker by Popular Hispanics Magazine.  He speaks at more than 150 events each year.

The conference will award two $1,000 college scholarships based on academic achievement to high school seniors.

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Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for over 30,000 students annually in degree courses, certification and training programs, workshops and personal enrichment classes. GRCC holds classes on the downtown Grand Rapids campus as well as several additional locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.