The Latino Summit: 12 years of offering opportunities to latinx students in the Northwest


Latinx high schoolers, professionals, and college students have been coming together at Harper college for the past 12 years with one big goal: to inspire and motivate students to achieve higher levels of academic success. Here, students are allowed to interact with many interesting people and learn about various career paths through the different guest speakers at the Summit.

In the past, Dr. Claudia Rueda Alvarez (2019) and Michele Smith (2016) had been keynote speakers at the Latino summit. This year, the Summit had the honor of having multi-award-winning, rights activist Dolores Huerta as their keynote speaker. Huerta is a valued figure in 20th-century labor activism. One thing Huerta is well known for is having co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (now known as the United Farm Workers) with César Chavez. This group worked towards equal rights for the farmworkers in the U.S. during the 1970s and continues to support farmworkers now. 

The Latino summit offers more than just an experience; It offers scholarships. All students that participate in the Latino Summit are eligible to apply for the “Latino Summit scholarship” when they become seniors. Two of our senior mustangs, Ana Castro and Santiago Leyva won the scholarship this year!

Leyva and Castro are both members of AVID who had found out about the Summit. They had gone on a field trip to the Summit in 9th grade. (the same one that a group of freshmen recently went to on March 11th). Finding out they had gotten the scholarship had been a surprise that they were both grateful to have. Both claim that going to the Latino Summit was an inspiring experience. Castro even says, “It has encouraged me to be proud of my diverse background and achieve higher education to find ways to give back to my community.” Her words to everyone are, “Be proud of who you are and learn about your background!”

All in all, the Summit is simply incredible. Many students have gone before, and encourage other students to experience it for themselves if they get the opportunity. As Leyva said, “The Latino summit and college are for anyone, you just have to work hard enough and believe in yourself.” 

In the words of Dolores Huerta, and the many people she inspired, “¡Sí se Puede!”