Each fall, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Stockton Council 2060 hosts the LULAC Youth Leadership Conference at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton, CA. This year’s keynote speaker was Jessica Cox. A dynamic motivational speaker for the students. The Atherton auditorium was filled to capacity, with an additional presentation in the afternoon for the public. It brings together youth from every school district in San Joaquin County. The majority of our conference attendees are young Latino students with high hopes and aspirations. Student attendance at the Youth Leadership Conference ranges between 1,600 to 1,700 students representing every school district in San Joaquin County.
Our objective is to promote continuing education, encourage students to stay in school, graduate from high school and continue their education. In our county, 80% of the skilled jobs will not require a four-year degree, but they will require some form of post-secondary education. Students are encouraged to prepare themselves for the opportunities that lie ahead. The future is theirs for the taking.
While we invite all 7th through 12th grade students from both middle schools and high schools, our target is the average students, those students who have potential, and need an extra nudge to point them in the right direction. The majority of our conference attendees do not have parents with college education or college degrees. Most of their parents probably did not graduate from high school. Our conference attendees are students from a variety of backgrounds and situations including, but not limited to the following:
- Most of these students are your average students who have limited exposure to available resources and programs. They normally do not receive information about career opportunities, post-secondary education, college opportunities, and financial assistance.
- Many come from Migrant families whose parents are migrant seasonal workers or work in the fields or have agricultural related jobs.
- Many of the attendees may have good grades, but lack awareness of college entrance requirements, the college application process, available financial support, and the opportunities available to all students.
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