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Working Toward 66 Percent: Leadership Summit Stresses Post-Secondary Education for Utahans

Published on May 9, 2013 by Scott Rudeen

The Multicultural Youth Leadership Summit was held on April 30 at the Davis Conference Center in Layton, Utah, for the first time. Governor Gary R. Herbert has launched an educational initiative to have 66 percent of all working-age Utahans armed with a post-secondary degree or certificate by the year 2020. The event involved students ranging from seventh grade to twelfth as well as parents, teachers, community leaders, the state government, and a variety of organizations.

Multicultural Youth Leadership SummitAs interactive members of the community, Broadview University-Layton supported the event by sending High School Coordinator, Shae Erhart, to assist in answering questions that students had relating to college.

“It was empowering and motivating to see the excitement that the students had when it comes to pursuing a college education and making a difference in their communities,” Shae said. “Being able to help guide a wide variety of students in the direction of a college education was a positive and powerful experience. Our youth are our future, and it’s these types of events that help to ensure our communities will continue growing and remain strong.”

During the event students and other participants were able to listen to messages from leaders from a variety of backgrounds. Keynote speakers included Christina Flores from KUTV, Senator Ross Romero, and Utah Lieutenant Governor Greg Bell.

Throughout the day students participated in breakout sessions involving a variety of different topics from “Leadership and Empowerment” to “Appreciating our Differences.” The breakout sessions were conducted by CoolSpeak members Derek Fulton, Ernesto Mejia, Carlos Ojeda Jr., Joaquin Zihuatanejo, and Natasha Carrizosa.

Lunch provided a new sort of entertainment for the students as the Urban Dance Organization brought a new type of motivation and understanding to the crowd. The organization is a nonprofit from Salt Lake City and designed to encourage participants to ignore differences while embracing the backgrounds that people come from through the common language of dance. The group showed some of their skills, and then invited students on stage to show off as well! Students left the event with smiles, excitement, and a new motivation to bring positive energy into their communities, and believe that they can create a fulfilling and promising life for themselves.

By Shae Erhart, High School Coordinator, Broadview University-Layton

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