Empowerment is one word that Miguel Perez, President of Seward County Community College’s Hispanic American Leadership association (HALO), used to describe the annual Midwest HALO encuentro.
The annual October event was hosted by Kansas State University on the Manhattan campus for all colleges in the state. This year marked year 13 for the clubs throughout the Midwest region to meet. At the conference, students attended workshops, networked and listened to people with inspiring stories. Eleven SCCC students attended.
The purpose of the conference is to provide students the opportunity to learn from others the challenges that they may come across during their college career and also how to overcome these challenges to be successful.
One of the featured speakers was Jaime Carias. Carias is an educator, author and national keynote speaker. He tries to inspire students on how to be successful as first generation students.
“Jaime talked about the hardships he faced as a child, like helping his mom clean houses when they first arrived to the U.S. and then growing up and going to school as a first generation student,” Perez said. “It was really inspiring because he explained how the American dream was possible for him.”
Aside from a keynote speaker, six workshops or break out sessions were available for the students to attend.
“During these workshops, we learned how to be a better leader, how to speak professionally, how to dress and how to talk to people respectively as a leader,” Luis Jimenez, welding student freshman said.
Jimenez said that he thinks these are very important parts of learning how to be a leader. Perez added that the break out sessions really helped the students learn how to become a voice in the hispanic community.
The SCCC students were invited to eat lunch and enjoy entertainment from a live band and dancers, which was Perez’s and Jimenez’s favorite part of the conference.
Frances Brown, HALO sponsor, was glad that they got to go and that “the students really got to enjoy themselves. I think this year we had a really good group of students attend so I look forward to having the same outcome next year.”