The 2022 Alsame Latino Youth Conference hosted by Grand Valley State University was a big success, and we are excited to share a summary of this year’s event. Over 800 guests attended the conference, including students, high school counselors, volunteers, workshop speakers, and college and career representatives. We are incredibly grateful to all of the sponsors, with special thanks going to Grand Valley State University for serving as host. Below is a breakdown of the day, along with some media and photographs.
Six hundred twenty students from at least 23 high schools in Michigan registered to attend this year’s conference, including 183 freshman, 296 sophomores, 212 juniors, and 122 seniors. Unfortunately, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, several large schools could not make the trip. However, considering that many conferences have been canceled in the last couple of years, we considered the number of attendees a huge success.
Volunteers and Organizers
This conference would not have been possible without the 72 volunteers that showed up as early as 7:00 a.m. to set up and welcome students and guests at GVSU’s Allendale campus. A special thank you goes out to the 50 GVSU volunteers, students, faculty, and staff that ensured students had a great experience. Elizabeth Arangure-Martinez and Michael Guerra led the GVSU conference planning committee and did a phenomenal job of making sure the conference agenda was executed. A special shout-out goes out to the Alsame Executive Board for being instrumental in helping to organize this conference.
Keynote and Workshop Presenters
Ovidilio (Ovi) Vasquez was the conference keynote speaker. He shared his inspirational story of grit and perseverance and motivated all students to become leaders and role models in their communities. Find out more about Ovi here.
Once the students were done learning from Ovi, they were able to attend at least one workshop where they learned from 20 workshop presenting groups. Some of the conference workshop presenters are highlighted below:
Scholarship Recipients Recognized
The Alsame Executive Board awarded a total of $12,000 in scholarships to the high school seniors below. Gabriel Escobedo, Alsame’s Scholarships Chair, led a committee that reviewed nearly 100 applications. A special post will be created later this summer to highlight these students, their accomplishments, and where they plan to attend college this fall. More to come, but for now, we want to congratulate the following scholarship recipients for their hard work!
- Dayrin Ramirez, Hart High School, Hart, MI
- Alejandra Padilla-Miguel, Cesar Chavez Academy High School, Detroit, MI
- Noemi Perez, Western International High School, Detroit, MI
- Marco Lopez-Vargas, Wyoming High School, Wyoming, MI
- Breah Marie Willy, Troy High School, Troy, MI
College and Career Fair
Students had an opportunity to learn from at least 32 colleges and organizations. One college rep said, “This was the best college fair I have attended and I was impressed with how many students came to my table, so much so that I ran out of materials.” A special shoutout goes out to ASMA Speeks for leading an art workshop during this portion of the conference. Students had the opportunity to create a piece of art led by ASMA. We also want to thank Patricia Young from Central Michigan University and Alsame’s Executive Board for leading in the efforts to make this a very successful part of our conference.
A big thank you goes out to all of this year’s conference sponsors! We could not have organized this conference without you: