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Annual Hispanic Youth Leadership Summit held in Nampa

In partnership with the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs, NNU held the Treasure Valley's Youth Leadership Summit to give high school students a feel for being on a college campus
Posted at 4:56 PM, Oct 10, 2023

NAMPA, Idaho — The Treasure Valley’s Hispanic Youth Leadership Summit took place at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa on Tuesday.

“We have some colleges to look at and I’m excited to be here because I want to go to nursing school,” says Jasmine Ruiz, a senior at Columbia High School.

The day allows for students to learn about leadership, themselves, and their strengths as they navigate their education.

“Through their high school career and and into whatever is the next step, because the goal is to ultimately make our communities and our state stronger,” says NNU President, Joel Pearsall.

One of the cool things that students get to do at the summit is meet with various colleges and workforce professionals to learn more about opportunities after high school.

“I’m excited to be here. And right now, in December, I’m going to take my CNA classes. So after that, I just want to get my registered nurse certificate and be a nurse at a nursing home, so [I’m] here talking to St. Luke’s more about the Registered Nurse/LPN,” says Ruiz.

RELATED | Hispanic Youth Leadership Summit preparing for hundreds of high school students at the College of Idaho

“I’m most excited to talk to the dental booth, and to BSU probably,” says junior high school student Natalia Tapia.

They also have the chance to interview with college counselors in hopes of securing a scholarship.

“So a lot of these students come prepared to interview and visit with the colleges, and many of these students will walk away with a scholarship,” says Margie Gonzalez, the Executive Director of the Idaho Commission of Hispanic Affairs.

After 18 years of leadership summits like these, Gonzalez says they are seeing positive progress, “We don’t have the high dropout rates that we once did. We’re starting to see a lot more success, and not just in graduating from high school, but going onto college.”

Nearly 200 higher education scholarships were awarded at the Treasure Valley's summit.