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SAN ANTONIO, TX – Trinity University in San Antonio and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) will conclude the summer-long, inaugural class of the LOFT (Latinx On Fast Track) Leadership Institute (LLI) with an “Open Space” session with cohorts from across nine sectors made up of Latinx students (who started as high school seniors and are now starting their freshman year in college) from around the country (see link for Fellows). The LOFT Leadership Institute Open Space session will take place virtually on Saturday, September 25, 8:30 am – 2:30 pm (PST), 11:30 am – 5:30 pm (EST) titled National LOFT Leadership Institute – Next Steps For: Yourself, Your Sector, Your Community, Your Country, Your Planet – Working Together and Learning From One Another.
The students participated in a total of 120 hours of intense, interactive curriculum focused on leadership, community-building, professional networking, social impact, culture, and introducing the Fellows to a deeper dive into their sectors.
“It is critical for these young leaders, from all over our nation, to be connected to each other through their journeys in education, the workforce, and in the community in building social and professional capital,” said Juan Sepulveda, J.D., the Ron Calgaard Distinguished Professor of Practice in Political Science at Trinity University, HHF Board member, and Co-Founder of the LLI. “And now, we have to allow these young leaders to lead on their terms,” added Antonio Tijerino of HHF in reference to the Open Space format.
Cohorts from the following nine sectors will come together for the first time after months of vertical, sector-specific trainings in Education, Engineering, Entrepreneurship, Finance and Business, Healthcare & Science, Media & Entertainment, Public Service, Social Justice, and Technology.
Open Space is a process designed to put the power in the hands of the Fellows, not the organizers, to leverage their priorities, visions, experiences, and talents without hierarchies. The Fellows will be responsible for identifying specific topics, issues, and questions they want to explore and/or share with their cohort, while also creating the agenda and placing it on a virtual grid for everyone to see. They will self-select, present their ideas, and lead open conversations on their idea or topic in smaller group sessions. The resulting priorities, ideas, issues, and solutions will be captured by the organizers as guidelines to support the vision of the young leaders through an ongoing LOFT effort.
The LLI is a critical continuum to HHF’s 23-year-old Youth Awards program; after more than 30,000 applicants from all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Our selection committee narrowed down applicants to approximately 270 recipients – 30 in each of nine sectors or “tracks.” As LOFT Institute Fellows, the students will be tracked and connected to each other throughout college and into their careers with access to additional programs and trainings, resources, activities, mentors/mentees, and sector-specific career pathways including internships and full-time positions.
LOFT Tracks and sponsors include Healthcare & Science (CVS Health), Engineering (BP), Tech (T-Mobile), Education (Southwest Airlines), Public Service (Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute), Finance (East Los Capital), Entrepreneurship (TikTok), Media & Entertainment (NALIP), and Social Justice (Nike). The Fellows will also receive grants for their education or for a social impact effort associated with their tracks that will be supported.
HHF is a national, nonprofit focused on education, workforce development, social impact, and culture through the lens of leadership. HHF’s network of vetted, Latinx leaders across sectors is more than 250,000, 15-40-year-olds which provides the org with a basis for adaptable, innovative programming and mobilization. (Visit www.hispanicheritage.org)
About Trinity University
For generations spanning 150 years, Trinity University has transformed obstacles into boundless opportunities. Our resilience, enterprise, and creative vision have driven us in unwavering pursuit of new challenges, and new chances to build on this legacy. Carried by this momentum, we redefine the liberal arts by cultivating a community of lifelong learners. Trinity’s 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students come from 48 states and 57 countries. Students choose from 49 majors, 61 minors, and five master’s degrees. With our combined talents, strengths, ambitions, and passions, we are doing more than waiting for a brighter tomorrow: We’re making a better one today. Discover more about Trinity University. (Visit https://www.trinity.edu/)