Youth Líderes Program
The Council de Manos, Youth Líderes Program focuses on providing youth (ages 14-21 high school students) with the resources to attain leadership skills through building self-esteem in the Latinx identity, confidence, and job/technical skills that will provide a path to higher education and/or career.
Under the direction of Council de Manos, the Youth Líderes Program is fostering leadership skills and providing opportunities to demonstrate leadership, as well as increasing engagement for Latinx youth ages 14-18, from the United States. The program incorporates an interactive and engaging opportunity for Latinx youth to obtain and demonstrate their leadership skills and gain confidence and pride in their Latinx identity.
The Council de Manos Youth Líderes Retreat/Training is held at different times throughout the year. During the non-conference year, we will offer a retreat in the spring and fall. In the spring it will be on the west coast. In the fall it will be on the east coast. During the conference year, training will be at the conference host city.
Latinx youth participate biannually in the retreat/ training, providing educational workshops addressing leadership and community action, communication skills, identity development, advocacy, and self-esteem. In addition to the workshops, college recruiters, area technical training schools, and other agencies provide seminars and educational booths during the conference. The overall atmosphere of the retreat/training is one of celebration, with Latinx cultural celebration, an inspirational keynote speaker, and retreat/training alumni returning to share and celebrate with the students. A dominant emphasis throughout the retreat/training is helping Latinx youths recognize the importance of identifying their culture and traditions. The tone of the retreat/training encourages participants to understand the importance of completing high school and college, as well as foster an awareness that Latinx can and should become involved in their community.
The Council de Manos Youth Líderes Retreat/Training theme "Yes, You Can" embraces the challenge of meeting the educational and leadership needs of Latinx students. An important factor for the program’s success has been the strong level of support outside of the retreat/training. Program partners have included school officials, migrant education staff, social service professionals, area business leaders, and Latinx students and families.