For release: 10/10/02
Release #: 02-255
Alabama's first Hispanic Youth Conference, co-sponsored by Marshall Center, is success
More than 160 students from Alabama high schools participated in the first statewide Latin American Youth Conference Oct. 11-12 in Huntsville. The event was sponsored by the Marshall Center, the Alabama Hispanic Association, both in Huntsville; the Hispanic Outreach / Latinos Adelante in Madison and Morgan Counties; and Stillman College in Tuscaloosa. Organizers hope the conference will motivate Alabama's Hispanic high school students to continue their education.
Photo: Astronaut Fernando (Frank) Caldeiro talks with Hispanic students. (NASA/MSFC)
More than 160 students from Alabama high schools will participate in the first statewide Latin American Youth Conference to be held Oct. 11-12 in Huntsville, Ala.
The event is co-sponsored by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and the Alabama Hispanic Association, both in Huntsville, the Hispanic Outreach / Latinos Adelante in Madison and Morgan Counties, and Stillman College in Tuscaloosa.
Organizers hope the conference will motivate Alabama’s Hispanic high school students to continue their education.
“For our first attempt to hold a statewide youth conference, we have a great response,” said Elia Ordonez, Hispanic Employment Program manager at the Marshall Center. “We hope the conference will encourage these Hispanic teens to seek a brighter future for themselves and their families.”
The conference has three primary goals: creating mentoring opportunities and preventing students from dropping out of school; fostering young people’s pride in their Latino culture and history; and encouraging students to pursue higher education.
Each school has selected a Hispanic student or students as many as three per school to attend the two-day event. Participating schools include: Talladega High School in Talladega; Athens, Clements, Tanner and West Limestone County High Schools in Limestone County; Bob Jones, Butler, Grissom, Hazel Green, Huntsville, New Century, Sparkman, Johnson and Madison County High Schools and Madison Baptist Academy, all in Madison County; Saks High School in Calhoun County; Hoover, John Carroll, McAnory, Minor, Shades Valley High Schools in Jefferson County; Albertville High School in Marshall County; Pelham and Thompson High Schools in Shelby; and Central East, Prattville, Tuscaloosa Center and Tuscaloosa County High Schools, all in Tuscaloosa.
During the conference, students will meet with Marshall Center Director Art Stephenson, NASA scientists and engineers, elected state leaders, business professionals, and a member of the astronaut corps. They also will tour the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and attend workshops that focus on self-esteem, Hispanic heritage, and on college and job preparation skills.
Other organizations partnering with the sponsors are Mevatec Corporation and The Boeing Company in Huntsville; the Coalition for Hispanic Community in Russellville; Gadsden Cultural Hispanic Coalition and HELP in Gadsden; Hispanic Interest Coalition of Central West Alabama; Montgomery Hispanic Interest Group in Montgomery; Wiregrass Hispanic Coalition in Dothan; Clinica del Migrante in Baldwin and Mobile counties; Oneonta Chandler Mountain Center “Project Aprende” in Oneonta; The Central Alabama Alliance for Latino Health; The Latino Cultural Center in Birmingham; and the “Arbol de Vida” Hispanic Interest Group in Ozark.
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