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Broad diversity continues to characterize the Latino Leadership Initiative (LLI) sponsored by the Center for Public Leadership (CPL) at Harvard Kennedy School. CPL announced today that 71% of the participants in the fourth installment of LLI are the first in their families to attend college.
Launched in 2010, LLI is a weeklong program that prepares rising college seniors for the opportunities and challenges they will face in the coming decades. On June 9, Harvard will welcome to campus 42 students who were chosen from a highly selective application process. The eight participating schools are Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles); University of California, Merced; Texas A&M International University; the University of Houston; the University of Massachusetts–Boston; the University of Texas–Pan American; Miami Dade College; and the City University of New York’s Macaulay Honors College.
The LLI curriculum includes classes on public narrative, community organizing, negotiation, moral leadership, emotional intelligence and critical thinking, networking, and public speaking. LLI participants will also have opportunities to build relationships with respected Latino mentors from the government, nonprofit, and business sectors.
This year’s faculty includes Andy Zelleke of Harvard Business School; Marshall Ganz of Harvard Kennedy School; Harvard Divinity School professor Davíd Carrasco; and Georgetown University professor Robert Bies. Among the guest speakers will be Dr. Robert Sackstein, a Harvard Medical School professor who specializes in bone marrow transplants and stem cell research; Dr. Efrain Garza Fuentes, director of multicultural programs at the Walt Disney Company; and Johnny Marines, manager of the Romeo Santos/Aventura music group. Award-winning journalist and NPR host Maria Hinojosa will be the mistress of ceremonies at the concluding dinner.
After their week in Cambridge, students will work in teams with faculty and administration from their home university to design and implement a community service project. This past year, for example, University of California, Merced’s Project 10% has sought to increase high school graduation rates in the San Joaquin Valley. After receiving $10K from the university, local government, and nonprofit supporters, the LLI graduates who designed the project recruited and trained 45 mentors from UC, Merced student body. These mentors have given presentations to more 3,600 eighth graders.
Quarterly teleconferences hosted by CPL will promote cross-pollination among the projects while helping students integrate into the projects the personal development goals they identified during LLI.
“We are enormously proud of our students, and of all that LLI has been able to accomplish in the four years since Entravision cofounder and chairman Walter Ulloa’s commitment sparked this initiative,” said Andy Zelleke, LLI faculty director and senior lecturer at Harvard Business School. “Including this year’s cohort, there will be 150 talented LLI alumni having impact in their communities and, soon enough, in a range of professions. And we’re thrilled that, this September, three of them will begin their graduate studies at Harvard.”
Coca-Cola will be the lead sponsor of this year’s initiative. Other supporters include seed donor Entravision Communications; four-year sponsors Texas A&M International University, Univision, Southwest Airlines, and the Walt Disney Company; as well as Time Warner.