Latino Leadership Initiative and Latino Computer Training Course Thrive

Monday, October 29, 2018

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This fall marks the beginning of the sixth year of the Latino Leadership Initiative (LLI), an initiative of the EDASC Foundation's Leadership Skagit Program, and the second consecutive offering of the Beginning and Intermediate Computer Training Course for Latinos.  These programs and their enthusiastic participants are thriving.  A record number of 28 students from Skagit Valley College have registered for the computer course, which is offered in Spanish, and both computer classes are filled.  The computer training course provides a solid foundation in basic computer concepts, motivates participants to continue their education and start a business and to become more successful when applying for jobs or looking for work opportunities.

At the same time, the LLI, which is a partnership of the Latino Educational Training Institute along with Skagit Valley College, Edmonds Community College, and Everett Community College, is becoming an established and well-respected multicultural leadership training opportunity of Latino college students in the state of Washington.  With the strong support and collaboration of Skagit Valley College, Leadership Skagit, EDASC and the Northwest Agriculture Business Center (NABC), the influence and prestige of this program has grown, making the commitment to the diversity of our community and our institutions a reality. For the first time, Skagit LLI participants are offered a full year of training, complete with college credit, to be joined by students from Edmonds Community College and Everett Community College in December.  Each year, each cohort performs more than 1000 hours of community service.  Our research has shown that Latinos are seeing themselves more and more valued and welcomed in our community as a result of their participation in this program.  They increasingly perceive themselves as contributors who are competent, responsible change agents and problem solvers who are worthy and respected members of the community.  In the words of one graduate of LLI:

"LLI has liberated me from the torment of hiding who I am and where I came from.  It has empowered me to speak and behave with new meaning.  A flame was lit inside me, giving me newfound strength, courage, passion and truth.  I will continue to try to ignite leadership in other people."

Ultimately, our commitment to these students—our future citizens, entrepreneurs and leaders—offers tangible proof to the Latino community that important values such as diversity, economic and social justice, inclusiveness, equity and civic engagement are alive and real in Skagit County!

For more information on these programs, contact Dr. Diana Morelli-Klima at diana@skagit.org.

Category: Business Retention and Expansion, Latinos, Professional Development, Leadership Skagit