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1500 high school students to attend César Chávez Leadership Conference at Western Oregon University

Nearly 1,500 students grades 9-12 will gather in Monmouth, Oregon on March 8, 2013 for the César E. Chávez Leadership Conference (CECLC), a day of educational and cultural workshops, visits with college representatives, and leadership trainings by nationally recognized speakers and educators. This conference is the premier statewide developmental event for Latino high school students.

A highlight of the conference will be the acknowledgment of outstanding student leaders, art, essay, and poetry contest winners, and CECLC scholarship recipients. This year twenty students will each receive a $1000 scholarship. Conference partners Western Oregon University and Linfield College have committed to matching those funds to CECLC scholarship winners who choose to attend their respective institutions. WOU has further committed to an additional twenty $2000 scholarships to CECLC students who enroll at Western.

Scholarship and award recipients will be available for interviews with the media following the award ceremonies.

fabian_ramirezThis year’s conference keynote address will be by renowned motivational speaker Fabian Ramirez. Mr. Ramirez speaks at conferences across the country, using stories from his upbringing to make teenage audiences laugh and think about their futures. He notes, “Culture is a huge piece of who I am and education allowed me to uncover a new side of me that I want to pass on to other students.” Mr. Ramirez will be available for interviews following his presentation at the opening of the conference.

We are also honored to have Rudy Crew, Chief Education Officer of Oregon address our students in the morning. School district superintendents and administrators from across Oregon will also be in attendance for a special executive session with Conference leaders to discuss pressing issues among Latino students in Oregon.

The César E. Chávez Leadership Conference began in 1990 as a small gathering for Hispanic students from Portland Public Schools. Over the years, it has expanded to include 65 high schools from Clackamas, Lincoln, Linn-Benton, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Washington, Yamhill, Clatsop, Columbia and Tillamook counties. This year we are proud to announce the inauguration of the Southern Conference of the CECLC at the Southern Oregon University in Ashland, to be held on March 15, 2013.

Since its inception, the CECLC Scholarship program has awarded over $600,000. CECLC Scholarship Chair Gerardo Ochoa notes, “As Oregon demographics continue to change, so do the challenges and opportunities our students face. By providing scholarship opportunities, we are sending students a message that we believe in them and our communities need them to succeed.” CECLC Board Chair David Martinez adds, “We are proud to invest in our future leaders. This is our way of encouraging students to continue their education beyond high school.” Mr. Ochoa, Mr. Martinez and other conference board members will be available for comment throughout the day of the conference.

# # #

Contacts for media:

David McDonald
Associate Provost, WOU
503-838-8211 or mcdonald@wou.edu

Anna Hernandez Hunter
Director, Multicultural Student Services, WOU
503-838-8195 or hernana@wou.edu

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