Saint Mary's students attend Chicago conference
By Rocio Estrada
Ten Saint Mary's students participated this weekend in the 20th annual United States Hispanic Leadership Institute Conference held in Chicago.
The conference attracts more than 8,000 people from nearly 40 states every year and invites leading Latinos to speak.
Speakers this year included U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez; Lt. Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch, President of Educational Achievement Services; and Joaquin Blaya, who was awarded the National Hispanic Hero Award during Saturday night's dinner.
The conference focused on great Latino heroes, such as Cesar Chavez, who dedicated his life to working with The United Farm Workers for job equality.
The speakers led forums and lectures on topics that affect Latinos today. Some of the workshops that students participated in included "Anatomy of a Leader," "Latinos in the Media: Friends or Foes" and "Why Latinos Aren't Making it in Schools."
"It motivated me to do something and gave me the enthusiasm and the drive I need to do something for my Latino community," said Saint Mary's senior Evelyn Gonzales.
Gonzales, along with seniors Emma Melero, Erika Brito and Monica Ortiz agreed that the conference was one of the greatest experiences that they have ever had.
"I wish I could have gone sooner," said Melero.
All News Stories for Monday, September 23, 2002