First Person: Juniors selected to attend Chicano Youth Leadership Conference


Adriana Chavira

At the Chicano Youth Conference, a college fair was held for Los Angeles Unified School District juniors with useful information and representatives from a variety of schools.

Nely Correa

This October, I was selected to attend the Chicano Youth Leadership Conference (CYLC) in Malibu. Although I did not know or think I could relate to the term Chicano, I attended the three-day long event anyway.

The conference focused on college readiness. Help and guidance was given in multiple ways such as PowerPoints, speakers and a college fair. There were many speakers giving their testimonies and offering their full support.

The conference which was held from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2 was only for juniors. It was funded by Beyond the Bell, which funds after-school programs for Los Angeles Unified School District students.

“I think it’s an incredible eye opening experience that allows Chicano youth across LAUSD to bond. I believe all high school Latino youth should get the chance to experience the event,” said first time volunteer Veronica Trujillo, a 23-year-UCLA student.

Sal Castro, a Mexican-American educator and activist, founded the CYLC in 1963. This led to the 1968 walkout of five high schools in East Los Angeles that fought for the equality in education for Mexican-American students.

There were speeches and inspiring testimonies given by CYLC alumni, including Rudy Monterrosa (a awyer and an activist in the Latino community) shared his testimony and motivated students to fulfill their life goals, and to be proud Chicanos.

Although we did work throughout the conference, we had some downtime. There was a bonfire and dances held on Friday and Saturday night.

Los Angeles Unified School District students participated in several activities at the Chicano Youth Conference, one of which being tug of war.
Adriana Chavira
Los Angeles Unified School District students participated in several activities at the Chicano Youth Leadership Conference, one of which was a tug of war.

It was amazing how in three days, we felt as close as family.

“It’s a life changing experience,” said junior Rosemary Vazquez, who also attended the CYLC.

CYLC was an incredible life changing experience for me. Hearing all the testimonies from these Chicanos inspired me to do better and succeed. There were tears, laughter and overall so much fun.

 I’ve always had a goal to go to college and become a special education teacher. After attending this conference, I know that I will go to college and will return to the CYLC and be part of this.