Summit increased high school students’ leadership potential


In addition to workshops,  students participated in a High Adventure Challenge Course to increase communication and teamwork.

Adams State University celebrated the successful conclusion to the inaugural Summer Latino Leadership Summit. Over the course of three days, July 1 through July 4, 25 young leaders from high schools across the state, and as far away as New Jersey, gathered to learn about their leadership potential and how they can impact their local communities.

Christina Sisneros, Alamosa High School junior, said: "This was an amazing summit."

Fifteen Adams State students served as workshop presenters and mentors through the summit. Chris Darby, an Adams State sophomore served as a resident mentor. He said the event helped him grow as a leader.

The summit was developed as a pilot project designed to increase minority first generation student access to and success within higher education across southern Colorado. The high school students who participated lived the college life, sleeping in the dormitories, eating in the cafeteria, and meeting current college students.

The summit hosted engaging keynote speakers including Adrian Molina, Denver; Elliot Cisneros, Antonito, Colo.; and Priscilla Gardea, Adams State senior admissions counselor. Molina, a spoken word artist and community activist, encouraged participants to "first lead yourself." Cisneros shared the power of doing what you love and knowing who you are in leadership. Gardea shared her inspiring story of being the first in her family to go to college, "when I walked across the stage to get my diploma I was not just walking for me, I was walking for everyone in my family."

According to Aaron Miltenberger, assistant director of Student Life, the pilot program will continue. "The response from the students was overwhelming positive. We look forward to hosting this program next July and for years to come."