June 28, 2010
There is a saying that the more you give, the more you receive. I found that to be true during a week of volunteer work with the Dallas Hispanic Youth Symposium at Southern Methodist University.
The symposium attracts local Hispanic high school students to SMU for a four-day, three-night stay to discuss college achievement, professional careers and community involvement. I served as a resident adviser (familia leader) for a group of young men.
I had to give up a week of teaching summer school to stay on campus, but it was well worth it. I left the program more empowered, enlightened and passionate to address the educational gaps that exist in the Hispanic, African-American and impoverished communities in Dallas.
More important, I left knowing that the future is bright for many local young Hispanics.
Students came from all over North Texas and from different backgrounds, neighborhoods and circumstances. To its credit, the symposium does not aim for the top few students. Organizers reach out to an academically diverse mix. What some lacked in academics, they made up for with their sincere desire to dream big.
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