Hundreds Attend GGUSD’s Online Latinos Unidos Student Leadership Conference

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More than 250 sixth through twelfth grade students from 19 GGUSD schools attended the district’s eighth annual Latinos Unidos Leadership Conference on Saturday, January 16.  The virtual conference, organized by district-level Latinos Unidos student board members, provides networking opportunities and leadership training designed to equip students with academic and personal skills for lifelong success. 

GGUSD’s Department of Parent and Community Outreach, in partnership with OC United Way, hosted the online event, which featured empowering personal testimonies from Los Amigos High School senior Sebastian Lozano who was recently accepted to Harvard University, Superintendent Gabriela Mafi, and Sergio Contreras with OC United Way.

“I was excited to see that the Latinos Unidos Conference would be adapted virtually this year,” said GGUSD Board of Education Trustee Teri Rocco. “The importance of this conference can’t be understated; it provides our students with information that is valuable, not only as they navigate school, but also as they prepare for their futures.”

Students participated in information-packed breakout sessions covering topics such as How Social Media Affects Mental Health, Embracing Biliteracy and Biculturalism, Social and Emotional Tips for Navigating the Path to College, Goal Setting and Navigating the Educational System, and much more.

The conference also included a networking fair with representatives from various California State University, Fullerton programs, the Garden Grove Police Department, Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, Casa de la Familia Counseling Center, Resilience OC, and much more.

The Latinos Unidos program was launched to provide a unique system of supports to GGUSD Latinos Unidos students through tutoring, mentorship, community service, college preparation and cultural events. More than 50 percent of GGUSD students are Hispanic/Latino, more than 75 percent are socioeconomically disadvantaged and more than 80 percent have a second language background.

With help from a club advisor, each of the district’s eight high schools, as well as several intermediate and elementary schools, have visible, active Latinos Unidos clubs. The clubs help embrace and honor student’s rich cultural heritage and provide them with a framework to achieve success.