ENMU set for second Latino Leadership Summit

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer

Diego Espinoza said he helped start the Latino Leadership Summit to provide information and expose Hispanic students to a college setting.

The second annual summit featuring guest speakers, financial workshops and campus tours is being held Friday at Eastern New Mexico University.

“It’s going to be a day to open the door of opportunities, leadership, advancement and motivation,” said Espinoza, an ENMU student and member of the predominately Hispanic Lambda Theta Hispanic Fraternity. “I want students to know there is more out there and people to help them.”

With the support of Eastern New Mexico University, the summit was started to help increase enrollment at ENMU. It also affords Hispanic students the opportunity to learn what options are out their for them, Espinoza said.

“Hispanic students in this area don’t really realize what opportunities are out their for them,” said Espinoza.

The summit will be the first opportunity for some of the attendees to visit a college campus, according to Espinoza. Some of the students that attend will also be first generation college students, he said.

ENMU President Steven Gamble said the summit is a valuable tool to reach Hispanic students.

“Any event that increases the awareness of Hispanic students toward education is valuable,” Gamble said.

New Mexico Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron is among the guest speakers as is Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch, who recently received the 2006 Hispanic Heritage Award for leadership.

Retired from the military as the highest ranked Hispanic in the U.S. Military, Kickbusch travels around the country speaking to Hispanic youth, according to a press release from the Latino Leadership Summit.

Carlos Vargas Aburto, provost for academic affairs at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania, will speak on the topic of science in education, according to the press release.