District 211 Students Join Local School Districts for 2013 Latino Summit

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latinosummitcoverDistrict 211 students from Hoffman Estates, Palatine, and Schaumburg High Schools joined several students from area school districts for the 2013 Latino Summit. There, students had opportunities to hear from Latino professionals, explore college opportunities, and listen to a keynote speaker.

The 2013 Latino Summit was held on Nov. 22 at William Rainey Harper College and more than 400 Latino freshmen and sophomores from area Districts 211, 214, 220, 207, and 225 attended. Presentations were held in both English and Spanish.

“The Summit gives students prime examples of knowing they aren’t alone,” said Alonso Ramirez, counselor at Palatine High School. “Kids with similar challenges that participated in the Summit during high school come back as presenters while in college, and it inspires our students. We have heard several comments from our current students that they hadn’t even considered going to college before the Summit.”

The keynote speaker this year was Jazmin Beltran, a multimedia journalist, currently working as a freelance news reporter at Univision Network, and adjunct professor at Medill School of Journalism, Media, and Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University. Beltran, along with other Latino professionals, spoke to students about how they overcame obstacles to get where they are today and shared their experiences within different job markets and navigating the professional world. These inspirational stories, in addition to college representatives speaking with students, helped kick start freshmen and sophomores to think about their futures.  The summit helps students develop leadership skills, network, and meet peers from other schools with similar aspirations.

Each year, the Latino Summit is a self-supported event, and funds must be found to finance the event and scholarships for deserving seniors. Participating District 211 schools donate $500 each to go toward scholarships.