Southeastern’s College of Business and the Latin American Business and Leadership Initiative recently received a $60,000 donation from local businessman and restaurant owner and operator Saul Rubio of Rubio Enterprise. The donation will fund the first stage of the Young Hispanics Leadership Program, which is designed to identify, develop, and empower the Hispanic youth community in the Southeast region through a multifaceted program that enhances and advances leadership capacities and professional growth.

“The Young Hispanic Leadership Program will go beyond the traditional instruction of leadership courses by providing Latino youth with the tools and resources to develop educational opportunities and become influential community leaders given Hispanic youth real-world learning experiences and interactions,” said Director of the Latin American Business Initiative Aristides Baraya. “The program promotes collaborative efforts within the university, generating a significant appreciation of cultural diversity and creating a lasting relationship among the Hispanic and non-Hispanic communities in the region.”

The program offers a series of symposia and workshops, to be held on Southeastern’s main campus in Hammond, as well as the Livingston Center in Walker, that examine the role of Hispanic youth in national and global transformations and the conceptualization of leadership and community service practices, Baraya explained. Presented by prominent Hispanic and non-Hispanic leaders discussing issues related to the Hispanic community, cultural diversity, and possible solutions, the workshops will help youth in grades 10 through 12 adopt critical thinking positions, analyze their roles in society, and seek improvement in their academic and professional lives.

“This program is an outstanding opportunity for Hispanic students to discover new faces in their lives and to put their leadership skills to work in practical and real-world applications,” Baraya said. “With a comprehensive portfolio of activities and working side-by-side with top community leaders, the program participants will develop a new and rejuvenated spirit of interdependence through a broad array of experiences that offer Hispanic youth complete and applicable educational opportunities.”

Southeastern began an effort in 1998 to expand the global perspectives of its students and increase its service vision to include the area of Southeast Louisiana and Latin America, as well as the Hispanic community in the United States. The university has been working with the Latin American community through the Hispanic Business and Leadership Institute, Baraya explained, offering programs designed to strengthen and invigorate the entrepreneurial, participative, and educative leadership capacities, as well as the international relations through a set of multifaceted actions that has allowed it to position itself at the forefront of various governments, companies, and institutions in Latin America.

“The Hispanic community has made significant contributions to the development of our great nation and has an essential role to play in today’s US economic and social success. Empowering social development and leadership to the Hispanic community will bring enormous opportunities to the entire region of Louisiana,” Baraya said.

For more information, contact Baraya at abaraya@southeastern.edu or 985-549-2171 or Director of the Livingston Center Krystal Hardison at krystal.hardison@southeastern.edu or 225-665-3303.

Top Image: Southeastern Louisiana University’s College of Business and the Latin American Business and Leadership Initiative recently received a $60,000 donation from local businessman and restaurant owner and operator Saul Rubio, center, of Rubio Enterprise. The donation will fund the first stage of the Young Hispanics Leadership Program. Pictured, from left, are Director of the Latin American Business Initiative Aristides Baraya, Southeastern President John L. Crain, Rubio, College of Business Interim Dean Tara’ Lopez, and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Tena Golding.

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