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Hispanic Youth Leadership Summit preparing for hundreds of high schools students at the College of Idaho

Posted at 4:45 PM, Oct 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-18 18:45:13-04

CALDWELL, Idaho — The Idaho Commission on Hispanic affairs is wrapping up this year's annual Hispanic youth leadership summits.

The College of Idaho will host the last forum tomorrow, and they expect students from 35 different high schools to attend. The summit assists high school students with their higher education plans.

"It's the first year that we have it here at the College of Idaho, and it's super important that we bring Latino students to our campus," said Arnoldo Hernandez, assistant Dean of Students for the College of Idaho.

Related: Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month in Idaho with a cookbook showcasing familiar faces

The Idaho Commission on Hispanic affairs started the Hispanic Youth Leadership summit 17 years ago, serving just 50 students in the Treasure Valley.

This year more than 2,000 students registered for the summits hosted by three different colleges in Idaho.

"Are main intent for this event when we started 17 years ago was to try and capture our students that were falling through the cracks," said Margie Gonzalez, executive director for the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs.

Related: The Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs Kicks off Hispanic Heritage month

The summit not only focuses on leadership skills but introduces them to different career options. They are breaking a record from their previous year by awarding more than $12 million in scholarships over all three summits.

"Our goal... is to really make sure that every student has an equal opportunity. That's our goal. We don't want favoritism, and we just want a paying field equal to all youth," said Gonzalez.

The Idaho Commission on Hispanic affairs is exploring additional days for its summit in the future and hoping to rotate schools, where the summit is held to allow different high schools and colleges to participate.