Grades 6th through 12th

Research shows that engaging Latino youth and their families in school leads to better student performance. The year-round Latino Youth Leadership Academy initiative, offered now at five metro Atlanta schools with a high percentage of Latinos, provides middle school and high school students with an after-school program that teaches them skills needed to succeed in school and college; leadership development; cultural and physical activities; test preparation and academic support; digital literacy; and college and career exploration through field trips, career days and mentorships. Parent involvement is a critical component of this initiative.

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The program takes place throughout the school year as well as during the summer so that students don’t lose knowledge during the critical summer months and so that graduating eighth graders have a smooth transition to high school. The program features classes in a variety of subjects, such as language arts, social studies and science; enrichment opportunities; and physical education activities.

The schools where the Latino Youth Leadership Academy operates are Cross Keys High School, Sequoyah Middle School and Path Academy in DeKalb County, as well as Lilburn Middle School and Radloff Middle School in Gwinnett County.

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A key component of the Latino Youth Leadership Academy is parent engagement. We work closely with parents so they are more involved in their children’s education and empowered to advocate for matters that affect them. Most of the five schools have a Parent Advisory Committee that meets regularly and provides feedback to the Latino Youth Leadership Academy staff. Committee participants also attend workshops, tour their child’s school, go on field trips to colleges and participate in the annual Latino Youth Leadership Conference.