Class Project LEADs the Way

By Karli Thode The Office of Innovation Creativity and Entrepreneurship

Class Project LEADs the Way into the Community

The dream that arose from the fall 2012 ESE315/SPN 379 class, “Cultural and Social Entrepreneurship in Latin America and Latino Societies,” is finally taking off. Under the direction of Spanish professor Linda S. Howe, students were encouraged to discuss a series of initiatives designed to bring the university closer to members of the Winston-Salem Hispanic community. The ‘LEAD’ing concept soon emerged as students Jacob
MarLEAD Teamtinez, Robert Kelly, and Kevin Tarsa gave a voice to their vision. Latinos Empowered by Academic Development (LEAD) launched on February 7, 2013!

LEAD is a college preparatory mentorship program that pairs college sophomores with Latino high school sophomores for three years until graduation. The pilot program aims to instill a passion for learning, manifested by academic excellence and the pursuit and importance of higher education. Its mission is two-fold—First, the program is dedicated to teaching Latino high school students how to apply to institutions of higher educations while empowering them to succeed in their classes in order to meet college demands and requirements. The program also hopes to reveal the true value of cultural enrichment and public service to all who participate in the mentorship program. 

This semester’s trial pilot program will consist of 12 college students and 12 Latino students. All meetings will take place at a local community services organization in which the program will provide the following services:

- Bi-monthly, one-on-one mentoring from a Wake Forest student;

- Help finding colleges and universities that suit the mentee’s academic needs and preferences;

- SAT/ACT preparation;

- Non-academic extracurricular activities that facilitate group bonding and mutual support and provide mentees with valuable practical skills;

- A speaker series, featuring local Latinos in business, the arts, and professions to inspire mentees to follow their dreams.

WFU students are helping Latino kids, first of all, to graduate from high school and, after that to consider the options and benefits of vocational schools, community colleges, or universities. The pilot program is currently recruiting sophomores for the Fall 2013 program and invites all interested WFU Sophomores to volunteer for a 3-year commitment to the program.

Congratulations to Professor Howe and the student visionaries for developing and launching LEAD!  We wish you the best of luck, and we look forward to celebrating in your future successes.