MONMOUTH – For the third consecutive year Western Oregon University has been awarded a $25,000 grant from ECMC Foundation to continue to host the Cesar Chavez Leadership Institute on the WOU campus in Monmouth on March 6, 2009. The Institute serves over 1,400 Latino student leaders from Oregon high schools.
The day-long Cesar Chavez Leadership Institute increases Oregon’s Latino youth preparation to become leaders and their knowledge about contemporary issues within the Latino community. The institute encourages Latino youth to pursue educational opportunities beyond high school. Participants will attend workshops on leadership, community engagement, and college preparation. In addition they will meet with colleges and university representatives.
This year’s keynote speaker is Carlos Ojeda Jr., a child of immigrant parents from Puerto Rico. Growing up proved to be a difficult task, particularly school, for Ojeda. He didn’t understand his social, economical and cultural background and many of his high school teachers told him he wouldn’t amount to anything. His drive and passion led him to overcome those obstacles and he became the first person in his family to graduate from college with honors.
Since then he has become a published writer, poet and speaker, with his first speaking engagement in 1997 at the Pennsylvania Statewide Latino Coalition Conference. He continues to represent a model of transformational leadership throughout the community, speaking on issues of empowerment, and progress.
The Western Tuition Promise, which provides new undergraduate students a four-year guarantee of no tuition increases, has strengthened the campus leadership position as the most popular mid-sized university in the state. Nearly 20 percent of WOU’s record-setting freshmen class was comprised of students of color and over the past four years WOU has increased the number of Latino students on campus by 50%.
“Effectively serving and educating Latino students is a core part of Western Oregon University’s mission and daily work. Hosting the Cesar Chavez Leadership Institute is important to the community and the university and is another way for us to support outstanding students and their families,” said Associate Provost David Mc Donald. “We deeply appreciate ECMC Foundation’s partnership and their continued support in support of students and Oregon postsecondary education.”
ECMC Foundation’s financial support will cover the cost of lunch for the student attendees, presenters, and guests and defray portions of other program expenses.
“Educational opportunities are so important in bettering our young people’s future. We are honored to continue to partner with Western Oregon University and the many community leaders who organize this important event that recognizes and strengthens Oregon’s Latino student leaders” said March Kessler, executive director of ECMC Foundation.
ECMC Foundation, an ECMC Group company, helps low-income, first-generation, college-going students further their educational goals. Through innovative outreach programs, we convey to students the importance of completing high school, and continue our mission by developing and distributing programs that focus on college access, retention, and success. ECMC Foundation partners with government agencies, educational institutions, and community organizations to make the dream of higher education a reality. ECMC Foundation is active in the state, touching the lives of Oregonians in many ways.
For more information please visit the ECMC Foundation’s Web sites at www.ecmcfoundation.org or www.ecmc.org.
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Chemeketa Community College
503-589-7830 or firstname.lastname@example.org
*day of the event phone: 971-244-3463
David Mc Donald
503-838-8211 or email@example.com
Director, Multicultural Student Services
503-838-8195 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Multicultural Recruiter Coordinator
503-838-8193 or email@example.com