Latino College Conference Aims to Wake a Giant

Latino college youth is a "sleeping giant" with enormous potential for political and social success. That will be the message when the sixth annual Fuerza Latina Northeastern Latino Collegiate Conference takes place at the University from Friday to Sunday, Feb. 23 - Feb. 25. The theme of this year’s conference, "Waking Up The Sleeping Giant, It’s About Time!," is a call to action, say Conference coordinators Melinda Gonzalez and Camille Torres. "The conference will emphasize the need for all Latino college students to ‘wake up’ to all that we can do socially and politically, and to realize the need we have to find the motivation for this success," said Torres, who like Gonzalez is a sophomore at the University. The three-day conference is designed to use informal networking activities that build communication among Latino groups. New events will be added to the traditional structure of the conference, such as cultural presentations and a Career Fair. An addition to this year’s program is the invitation of area high school students to participate. Locally, Albany High School and the Liberty Partnership Program in both Albany and Troy high schools are among the organizations that are encouraging their students to take part. United Way in New York City is also donating money and sponsoring hotel stays for New York City high school students who want to be a part of the Albany event. Along with college students, Latino high school youth will participate in special cultural workshops that discuss informational topics like financial aid and general concerns about what college life is like. For detailed information about scheduled workshops and events, contact Fuerza Latina in CC 345, Camille Torres at 437-0336, or Melinda Gonzalez at 442-0994.

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