AMES, Iowa — On Nov. 7, Dream Iowa hosted the Sixth Annual Youth Leadership Summit at Iowa State University. This year’s summit was sponsored by Iowa 4-H Youth Development and united over 300 immigrant youth from across Iowa.
The Youth Leadership Summit empowered attendees with knowledge, skills, networks and strategies for growth. This event was free and open to all middle school, high school and college-age youth. All high school seniors and college students were entered into a drawing for several $500 and $1,000 college scholarships.
All attendees were welcomed during a ceremony at LeBaron Hall on central campus. This year, students attended up to four different workshops on topic areas such as understanding immigration policy, navigating financial aid, college readiness, careers in STEM, money management skills and the value of telling their stories. They also had the opportunity to listen to the story of Monica Figueroa, a Storm Lake native and DACA recipient, who shared about her journey to the United States and Harvard University.
Iowa 4-H helps young people explore their passions and identify their spark to become tomorrow’s leaders, said Ani Das, 4-H youth program specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. “As an organization, Iowa 4-H supports the need to reflect the population demographics, diverse needs and social conditions of our state and country.”
Partnering with community organizations is one way Iowa 4-H can build capacity and broaden the reach to all Iowans.
“The relationship with Dream Iowa has been extremely beneficial to remain relevant, welcoming and inclusive as we understand, learn and partner with the refugee and immigrant youth of Iowa to help them find their passion,” said Das.
— Anindita Das, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach