The Power of the Latino Leadership Initiative
Tuesday, May 01, 2018
The Latino Leadership Initiative (LLI) seeks to empower young Latinos to put them on a path to become leaders in their lives and their communities. In its fifth year, thirty students will graduate from the program from Skagit Valley College, Everett Community College and Edmonds Community College, which is a tribute to the overwhelming cooperation, engagement, acceptance and vision of our interactive communities. All of the sessions are experiential, with the focus on self-awareness and self-knowledge. Multiple speakers offer mentorship and insight into topics most relevant to our participants, such as John Kim, Executive Director, Seattle Jobs Initiative, “Preparing to Work in a Changing World” and Dr. Antonio Sanchez, Central Washington University, “The History of Latinos in Washington State.”
Skagit Valley College offers 1-15 credits (Winter and Spring Quarters) through their “Learning into Action” course which is designated for applied learning. Students are engaged in autonomous study or related work activity under the supervision of professional practitioners promoting service learning activities, including Kate Bennett and Erin Long of Leadership Skagit and Rosario Reyes, Founder of the Latino Educational Training Institute, and supervised learning under the direction of college administrators and professors, including Dr. Laura Cailloux, Vice President, SVC Whidbey Island; Dr. Diana Morelli, Director of Latino Business Retention and Expansion Program, EDASC; Dr. Jose Garcia-Pabon, WSU; and Diana Bustos, Program Manager, Edmonds CC).
Each year, Ken Klima’s LLI Video becomes a vivid testimonial to the transformational power of the individual and the program, a tribute to the passion of students seeking inclusion, a record of a group of strangers transformed into a cohort open to communicating with respect, openness and supportiveness. This program spotlights the immigrant’s dilemma of figuring out how to thrive in their new culture without obliterating their roots, how to cherish their history and how to surmount and vanquish the obstacles they must overcome to become the person and the leader they are meant to be!