OGDEN, Utah – Weber State University and the Utah Office of Multicultural Affairs will host the statewide Multicultural Youth Leadership Summit Oct. 30 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with the theme “Preparing for the Real World.”
“Our initial goal was to bring 650 students to the university for this summit, but we increased the number to include several hundred more students who wanted to participate,” said Eulogio Alejandre, WSU’s Student 2 Student coordinator with Education Access & Outreach. “We had more than 920 students when we closed registration because we could not accommodate any additional students.”
“This summit supports the Governor’s ’66 by 2020’ initiative, that aims to have 66 percent of Utahns holding a post-secondary degree or certificate by 2020,” said Claudia Nakano, Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs. “I would also like to thank Judge Valdez for his leadership in inspiring youth, not only as a senior juvenile judge, but with his life story as well.”
Designed for multicultural seventh through 12th grade students interested in learning about accessing higher education, the conference offers workshops, counseling and guidance programs to help students prepare for college. Breakout sessions will include college readiness and preparation, leadership development, cultural and diversity awareness, financial aid and scholarship availability and opportunities for students to meet current WSU student leaders. The keynote speaker, 3rd District Juvenile Court Judge Andrew Valdez, will address students along with Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox and WSU President Charles Wight.
Alejandre said college students who are first generation, low income or ethnic minorities often lack knowledge about admissions, enrollment, federal financial aid applications and scholarship availability.
“Typically these students are not well enough connected to find jobs in our society; therefore, we encourage them to network and get to know current college students, faculty and staff,” Alejandre said. “We have gifted and talented students in these three targeted groups who will be great college students and community leaders in the future. All they need is information.”
This year’s summit is a collaboration with the Utah Office of Multicultural Affairs Multicultural Youth Leadership Summit, the Utah Department of Heritage & Arts and WSU’s 19th Annual Multicultural Youth Conference in support of Governor Gary Herbert’s “66 by 2020” initiative to have 66 percent of Utahns hold post-high school degrees or certificates by 2020.