To promote the importance of learning and individual leadership as vital to all children and to encourage the participation of the community in all facets of this promotion by offering students important prevention strategies, information, and resources for academic and scholarship needs so that they may improve their educational opportunities and achieve their life goals.
Our community and our nation face a major challenge. While Latinos are the largest and fastest growing population in America, they are also least likely to attend college. A great number of Latinos don’t know how to prepare, apply and pay for college. Latinos are still falling behind other groups in vital education indicators like literacy, math, and science proficiency. This is a dangerous combination. With a continuously changing workforce dependent on increased skills and training, Latinos won’t be able to take advantage of the best career opportunities. With more than half of the U.S.’s population growth fueled by the Latino community, the education gap could get much worse if nothing’s done.
Founded in 1988 by LULAC Council #1057, the LULAC Youth Leadership Conference was developed in response to concerns about the state of education and the lack of programs that promoted and developed leadership in middle and high school students. At the time of its founding, it was believed that schools needed assistance from the community with these key issues. With the cooperation and involvement of local public, private, and charter schools, as well as institutions of higher learning, a nationally recognized program was born to assist students with resources, mentoring and leadership skills thereby equipping them with the necessary tools to help them remain in school, graduate, and further their education.
During its inaugural year, the conference reached 900 youth, a number surpassed in subsequent years to the current attendance level of more than 1,500 youth in an expanded program targeted at 6th through 12th grade students. To date, the conference has been host to over 100,000 participants.