Dr. José Enriquez, CEO and founder of Latinos in Action (LIA), set out to build Latino students into leaders. LIA is a program centered on reaching graduation and opportunity for Latino students; currently in four states with 164+ participating schools. To accomplish this goal that Dr. Enriquez envisioned, LIA is made up of four pillars: leveraging personal and cultural assets, excelling in education, serving the community, and developing leadership skills. The overall objective of LIA is to lead and strengthen communities though college and career readiness.

In Dr. Enriquez’s youth, he observed that few of his Latino peers participated in coursework, extracurricular activities, and community service. With the support of his mother, José received a wrestling scholarship to BYU where he earned his bachelors in Education and Spanish and a PhD in educational leadership. Dr. Enriquez became a teacher with his education and later an administrator. Later on in Dr. Enriquez’s life, he noticed the same pattern from his youth. Although this time, Latinos were shunning their culture which he believed to be the heart of Latino drive. He also related to Latino youth on a personal level, being a low-income, non-English-speaking immigrant who succeeded. With this sudden realization, this was Dr. Enriqez’s drive to start the Latinos in Action program.

Alondra Boyer, president of LIA at Westlake high school, has upheld her position for the second year in a row. With her experience, she has planned service projects and is making sure everyone is on track to graduate. LIA is not only for Latinos, for Alondra Boyer says, “Anyone is capable of joining regardless of their ethnicity or background.”  With joining, a question pops up to why people should join LIA? According to Alondra “People should join LIA to no only learn about our culture, but to learn how to be a leader simply in life.” One of Alondra’s biggest accomplishments in LIA was getting 300 hours of service and a class fundraiser for a student in their class, who lost his mother in a in a car accident.

In 2001- Dr. Enriquez began the first class of Latinos in Action at Timpview High School in Provo, Utah.

2003- LIA hosted its First Annual Youth Leadership Conference. 1,000 students at Mountain View High School.

2010- LIA became an official non-profit and grew to 37 schools.

2014- LIA started in six schools in Florida, in Broward County Schools.

Now-LIA is in 164 schools in Florida, Illinois, and Utah. It will be starting in California and Ohio in the 2016-2017 school year.

According to latinosinaction.org “LIA is proven effective throughout U.S. Students successfully completed post-secondary education and earn livable wage higher rate than national average. Alondra Boyer states that LIA has helped her succed by helping her with leadership skills and for helping her to apply for colleges and prep for her future. LIA has been Awarded the White House Bright Spot for Hispanic Education.”

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