Latinx-identifying seventh and eighth graders from throughout southern Wisconsin are invited to participate in the 11th annual Latino Youth Summit on March 27-28 on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus. The annual event assists students in getting ready for the future transition from middle school to high school, college, and beyond.
“Middle school is definitely a big time of transition. So I think the hope for this summit is to be able to provide those resources in the community and the guidance and support that comes through these workshops and presentations that we’re offering,” Latino Youth Summit Program Coordinator Kate Ryan tells Madison365. “The point is to explore majors and career paths in these two days, but it’s also to connect students with all of the community partners that we work with and university partners, as well, so that they can continue to serve their dreams and see what is out there for them … especially since it’ll be culturally relevant for students that identify as Latinx.”
This will be the Latino Youth Summit’s first in-person event since 2019. The Summit is offered by UW–Madison’s Badger Precollege program in partnership with the Madison Metropolitan School District and other partners.
“We’re so excited to announce a new partner this year, Juntos Wisconsin, who will be joining us through the Division of Extension at UW Madison. We also work quite closely with the Office of Student Financial Aid and the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Education Achievement,” Ryan says. “The Latino Youth Summit is a two-day event held in a couple of different locations but the main building will be the [UW] School of Education.”
The summit will take place in multiple spaces on the UW campus so that students can explore and integrate into the college life experience. The 2023 theme will be “STEAM Exploration.” This conference will help provide guidance, resources, and support through culturally relevant workshops, presentations, and additional opportunities to explore majors and career paths within diverse STEAM fields.
The daily schedule for the summit will be filled with innovative workshops and interactive activities with UW faculty and Madison community members. Workshops and presentations at this year’s Latino Youth Summit will include:
- DREAMers and Me
- Wind Energy Design
- Alien Blood Crime Scene Investigation
- Brain Health and AD in LatinX Community
- Cattle and Dairy Science
- Math to Plants: My Winding Path in Science
- Molecular Biology
- Explore the Art: Creativity
- Stop Motion Animation
- Music Theory
“We’re excited because this year we’re going to work with the Biotechnology Center, because we’re going to do STEAM exploration,” says Ryan, who is the Badger precollege program coordinator for the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Division of Continuing Studies. “So the young people will be taking part in different workshops in engineering, mathematics, science and technology.”
The two-day summit will be full of exciting new experiences and learning opportunities and all of the students will be provided with breakfast and lunch for both days during the summit. Students will be attending from areas well beyond Madison this year.
“We actually have some students coming in from Richland County and Oregon. We also have some students coming from the Middleton area, as well,” Ryan says. “So there are a lot of Dane County students, especially in the MMSD school system, but this is an exciting year that we can offer it to the more remote areas around southern Wisconsin.”
On Tuesday night, March 28, 5-7 p.m., after the second day of the Latino Youth Summit, they will also be hosting the first-ever in-person family wellness night.
“We’re hosting that family night at MyArts Youth Art Center (1055 E Mifflin St. in Madison) and the intention here is to have the families connect with their learners,” Ryan says. “And so we’re going to invite a lot of community partners to come out and talk to families and connect them in the way of helping these families transition to understanding what their student’s higher education and career goals might be and what resources exist in the community to help them fulfill those dreams.”
Families will have the opportunity to partake in a meet and greet with different organizations and groups present at the family wellness night. “It will be an informal event and families will get a chance to hear from keynote speaker Patricia Cisneros Prevo and a talk led by community partner Ketzhally Lopez about Latinx identity and achieving your educational and career aspirations,” Ryan says. “The event will be catered, too, so there will be some great food.”