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Posted December 3, 2013

West Mesa Hosts Hispanic Student Leadership Workshop

Freshmen and sophomores were encouraged to "fill their backpacks" with life and academic skills needed to graduate high school and pursue post-secondary options.

West Mesa High School in partnership with the Unidos Project and ENLACE hosted a student leadership workshop for freshmen and sophomores Tuesday designed to help students become better motivated and more determined to succeed academically and in life.

The workshop was part of the national Student Leadership Series sponsored by the U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute. The series seeks to decrease the dropout rate and increase the graduation rate by emboldening students to navigate their way through the academic achievement pipeline toward career and success.

Tuesday's event featured Jimmy Cabrera, a popular motivational speaker who talked to students and teachers about “filling your backpack” with life and academic skills needed to graduate high school and taking advantage of the post-secondary options available to be successful in life and career.

West Mesa was selected to host the event because it is a community school of the Unidos Project funded through the Lumina Latino Student Success Grant. As a community school, West Mesa operates as a hub offering wrap-around services to students with an integrated focus on academics, health and social services, youth and community development and community engagement.

“We appreciate the collaboration of Ben Santistevan, West Mesa principal, and Dr. Lawrence Roybal, ENLACE statewide director, with the Unidos Project to bring this great opportunity to our students at West Mesa,” said Dr. Jozi De Leon, UNM vice president for Equity and Inclusion and principal investigator for the Unidos Project. “We believe this will be a life-changing event for our students.”

The Student Leadership Series is the flagship youth program of the U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute, a Chicago-based non-profit organization. Nearly 24,000 students, parents, and professionals in seven states have been reached to date.

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