This summer ETSU hosted the Eighth Annual Migrant Student Leadership Conference for 45 migrant high school students from across the state. Throughout the week of July 28th and received a taste of the college experience, complete with meals in the Marketplace and classes in Wilson Wallace.
The students were engaged with community leaders and ETSU faculty in hopes of encouraging the youth to graduate successfully from high school and pursue further education that would benefit them in their future careers. Program coordinator, Carolina Quiroga, planned a fun, educational schedule that engaged the students in leadership and teamwork exercises. Additionally, the young leaders participated in a resume-writing workshop.
Community service was also a large focus in the program, as students went out into the community to help in Tree Streets community gardens, the Food Forest Project and at South Side Elementary School in a beautification effort that left the students with a feeling of accomplishment. At the end of every evening, students participated in various physical activities including:
- a Zumba class,
- and a Kung-Fu class
In these, young future leaders learned about healthy living and the benefits of staying active. Throughout the week, participants spent time writing an essay about a personal experience that made them grow as individuals. They also created a website in which they could publish all of their journal A great highlight of the week was the Career Exploration Day in which the students visited ten departments and colleges on the main campus to learn more about their perspective majors and careers.
The excited young leaders had the ability to speak directly with faculty from each department and learn more about scholarship opportunities and perspective majors. This motivated the students to come back to ETSU in the future as students and study in the college of their choice.
To conclude the conference, students presented their essays in a "Final Fiesta" and a copy of their personalized, professional resume. Additionally, Migrant Education scholarships for college tuition were awarded to two outstanding students. The entire evening was incredibly moving as both counselors and staff welled with pride for these young leaders who had visibly grown and learned so much throughout the week. This program inspires young leaders, who otherwise might not dream of pursuing a collegiate education. The students departed Saturday morning with a new-found confidence.