Northwest Nazarene University welcomed over 700 students from 30 different schools to its campus for the 18th annual Idaho Hispanic Youth Leadership Summit. Young Hispanic students came from across the Boise Valley, some from as far away as Gooding, Buhl and Wendall.
Local and state leaders addressed these students, encouraging them to look toward their future and support their peers as they learn to be leaders in their communities. Students attended 18 educational and informational sessions ranging from Civic Engagement to Exploring STEM career opportunities at Micron and the Idaho National Laboratory.
Among the speakers were Nampa Mayor Debbie Kling, Idaho Governor Brad Little and NNU President Joel Pearsall, who encouraged the students to capitalize on the opportunities at their disposal. They reiterated how our Hispanic youth are future community and business leaders with the potential to initiate significant change in the State of Idaho.
Luis Antonio Carrillo Rodriguez, a university recruiter for the Idaho National Laboratory and himself a graduate of the Hispanic Youth Leadership Summit, was the keynote speaker for the event. Rodriguez shared his passion and message to the students on how to bridge the gap between higher education and the promising opportunities available.
“It isn’t going to be easy,” Rodriguez said, “and you will face challenges. There will be people out there who will try to put you in a box or give you a label, but I encourage you to dream big. Don’t let the environment and your surroundings dictate what you are going to do today and in the future. Allocate your inner energy and resources to things that are more productive—your journey, your life.”
All 10 of Idaho’s colleges and universities were represented in a College Showcase, and 18 local businesses attended to speak with the students about future jobs and careers.
At the conclusion of the summit, the colleges and universities handed out nearly 200 scholarships so those students in attendance could pursue their dream of attending college. (Final dollar amount not supplied).