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The Power of Dreams: 12th Annual Latino Youth Conference Focuses On Dreams & Academic Scholarship

Grand Rapids, MI - Nearly 600 8th-grade students from a variety of middle schools throughout Kent County are expected to participate at the annual Latino Youth Conference being held at Grand Rapids Community College’s Ford Fieldhouse Today.  

The event starts at 9 a.m. and is an opportunity for these students to “celebrate Latino culture, while hearing and learning about the importance of an education and the power of their dreams,” said Chris Arnold, director of the Bob and Aleicia Woodrick Diversity Learning Center, whose department sponsors the event each year.  

Participants will attend seminars facilitated by local leaders in the areas of education, youth leadership, career preparation and self-esteem.

The conference theme is “El Poder de Soñar/The Power of Dreams”. College scholarships will also be awarded to high school seniors who have exemplified academic achievement, cultural appreciation and community involvement.

Highlighting this year’s event will be keynote speaker Carlos Ojeda, Jr., whose message – “Be Heard: Voice, Questions, Answers, Knowledge, Power” – will help inspire and motivate those in attendance, according to Arnold.

For more information on the conference, please call the Bob and Aleicia Woodrick Diversity Learning Center at 616-234-3390.

The Latino Youth Conference was created to encourage and motivate all youth to strive for educational excellence.  The Bob and Aleicia Woodrick Diversity Learning Center, was established at Grand Rapids Community College to ensure a comprehensive, integrated, cross-cultural approach to diversity inclusion.  Thousands of faculty, staff, students and community members benefit annually from the wide selection of diversity driven programs, many of which receive support through efforts of community collaboration and partnerships.

About Carlos Ojeda, Jr.

Carlos Ojeda, Jr. has been called one of the most dynamic speakers under thirty in America today.  His remarkable personal journey began in the streets of Newark, New Jersey and later to Reading, Pennsylvania where his immigrant parents saw opportunities for themselves and for their first generation Puerto Rican children.  He is a published writer and poet. It is his belief that human progress comes through the determined efforts to promote education, social activism and entrepreneurism in our youth.

Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for over 32,000 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.