Some 2,500 students from throughout Salt Lake, Davis and Utah counties—and from Nevada and Idaho—will be gathering on campus on May 10 for the largest Latinos in Action leadership conference in the state. During the one-day annual conference, middle school and high school students will take classes, attend performances and hopefully develop a desire to return to the U someday, said Anni Tedder, associate director of the Office of Admissions.
“What makes us so excited to host our Latinx students is we want them to know there is a spot here for them,” said Tedder, who oversees diversity outreach and community engagement for the Office of Admissions. “They have so much to offer our community and we want them to feel like they belong. We want them to visualize how they can be students here on campus.”
The conference will begin and end at the Jon M. Huntsman Center, where students will listen to the inspiring story of keynote speaker Franklin Mejias Castellanos, who became a quadruple amputee after contracting a nearly fatal bacterial infection when he was 12 years old. During the day, students will attend classes and workshops across campus that center around the conference theme “Trust in Me.”
The University of Utah last hosted the conference in 2018, but Tedder says she is glad to see the event return. Her position at the U was created to reach out to students from different backgrounds and connect with those who may or may not see college in their future.
“The Office of Admissions for the first time has dedicated staff members for diversity recruitment and community engagement,” said John Marfield, executive director of the Office of Admissions. “We want prospective and newly admitted students to know that we are eager to help them every step of the way when navigating the complicated admissions and enrollment process. This is just a preview of that.”
When the location of the conference was announced, current U students eagerly volunteered to help with logistics, direct visitors where to go, and participate in a panel where they will share their experiences of being a Latinx student on campus.
More information about Latinos in Action can be found here.