Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Youth Leadership Summit: Opening Minds and Lifting Expectations In Utah's Ethnic Community

I had the privilege of attending a Multicultural Youth Leadership Summit hosted by Weber State University.  As a member of the Multicultural Commission, I meet regularly with members of the commission who are stakeholders in Utah's diverse ethnic communities.

A big part of our discussion is about education and how to open children's minds to the opportunities in society to succeed and excel.  The Youth Leadership Summit was a great opportunity to show these kids how they can be successful despite the popular narrative that ethnic minorities can't be.

There were 1,000 kids in the audience today which is a great turnout.  The meeting had a tremendously positive message with some great presenters. 

Our new Lt. Governor Spencer Cox gave a rousing introductory speech about his personal experience.  He first apologized for being "the white guy in a suit".  He described how he was on the wrong road as a youth and through some the care of some mentors was able to change his life, attend school. and make a difference in his community.  It was a well received message by the audience and very poignant.

   Judge Andrew Valdez spoke about his personal story of being mentored as a young man by a stranger he met while selling newspapers.  His story is compelling.  So much so, that it has been put in a book titled No One Makes It Alone.

I strongly encourage you to pick up a copy.  It was great to see the young men and women at this meeting being uplifted by the message.

Truly, we will be whatever we want to be...if we are willing to do what it takes to become it.  Hopefully, these messages of hope will find a home in the hearts of these young people and lift our rising generation.


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