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Leadership Boot Camp For Latino Youth Launches in Utah

Andrea Smardon
Valeria Jimenez, University of Utah student and Latinos in Action high school alumni is a featured speaker at the leadership bootcamp.

Latinos in Action is holding its first annual leadership boot camp this week at Mill Creek Canyon. It’s aimed at preparing Latino youth to be leaders in their communities.

The camp will have hiking, canoeing and archery. But it also has workshops on how to run a meeting, working within a budget and team-building. Britney Davis is Director of Educational Partnerships for Latinos in Action. She says the event is designed to build skills for middle and high school students who have been elected as leaders in the program.

“We’re catalyzing their innate desire to serve and giving them the ability to now do that for their immediate schools and then for their communities,” Davis says.  

University of Utah Junior Valeria Jimenez will be one of the featured speakers at the camp. She says the leadership and service experience she got through Latinos in Action helped prepare her for college.

“It’s just so important because when you’re in college, you’re kind of all by yourself and you don’t know what to do, but as a leader, you kind of have this new mindset, in saying I can ask questions. I can do anything,” Jimenez says. “This program really helps these kids become leaders.”

Latinos in Action has been serving students in Utah schools for 16 years. Its mission is to empower Latino youth to be college and career ready through culture, service, leadership and excellence in education.

Andrea Smardon is new at KUER, but she has worked in public broadcasting for more than a decade. Most recently, she worked as a reporter and news announcer for WGBH radio. While in Boston, she produced stories for Morning Edition, Marketplace Money, and The World. Her print work was published in The Boston Globe and Prior to that, she worked at Seattleââ
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