LULAC’s State Of Latino America Summit Tells Latino Youth Take Charge Of Your Futures

Nation’s Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Provides Students with Paths to Lead

Washington, DC - U.S. Representative Tony Cardenas (D-CA) mesmerized young people from throughout the nation gathered at LULAC’s State of Latino America Summit Wednesday telling them they have only themselves to be accountable to and they should get the idea of proving something to others out of their minds. This annual event is being held at the AT&T Forum for Technology, Entertainment & Policy.

“You have nothing to prove to anyone!” he urged participants. “I was the last of eleven children in my family and my parents worked hard to make sure their children could and would grow up to become successful in their lives. You can do it too. You can achieve your dreams and the dreams of your parents and your ancestors. People are going to say some very stupid, stupid things about you but you have to focus first and foremost upon yourselves,” he added.

In the following session, students were briefed on the status of educational opportunities for Latinos. “Folks telling you that Latinos can’t go to college is very disheartening,” says Emmanuel Caudillo, Senior Advisor at White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. “However, the fact is that we’re going to college in numbers bigger and better than ever before. We should celebrate the achievements that we have made so far. The question is how can we move into other areas of our country where we aren’t making those strides,” he added.

Panelists highlighted facts that reflect a changing demographic in who is attending higher education institutions and why. “It is a college degree that propels you in society,” says Sarita Brown, Co-Founder and President Excelencia in Education. “What you need to know is to find out which universities and colleges are actually helping their students go forward and graduate to become the leaders in our society. The overall number of students applying to college is on a decline. So what you as Latinos do, what your brothers and sisters do, where you decide to go to college, will determine the success of the institution. The whole point of data is not just to have it but to use it, “ adds Brown.

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit