Conference aims to motivate students in continuing their higher education

The student organization ¡Motívate! Society of Latino Motivators will host a conference Saturday called, “¡Motívate! Discover Your Passion for Success.” The conference is expecting around 500 people to attend and will be held at the Satellite Student Union.

The conference’s purpose is to inspire young Latinos, bring awareness to the challenges that Latino college students face and to recognize students who have achieved success in their majors.

“The message we want students to take from the conference is that we all need to work together in order to better our community,” said ¡Motívate! coordinator Lucerito Salgado. “Students have to be proactive in their education. Parents should support, encourage and motivate their children to pursue a higher education. Also the community needs to provide our students with internship and mentorship opportunities so they can be better prepared when they graduate from school.”

The keynote speaker for the conference will be Maria Marin, a prominent motivational figure in the Latino community. Marin is also the author of several motivational books such as “Mujer Sin Límite” and “Pide más, Espera más y Obtendrás más.” Marin also wrote newspaper columns, made various television appearances and hosted her own radio program, “El Show de Maria” on Univision radio.

“Her attendance provides an opportunity for attendees to be motivated and inspired,” Salgado said. “She is the leading motivational icon among Latinos. It’s just an honor to have her here and have her show her support to our community here in the Central Valley.”

Cynthia Moreno, a journalist for Vida En El Valle, will be the master of ceremonies for the conference and will welcome guests as well as introduce speakers and moderate the success panel.

The success panel will be a panel of seven speakers who will speak individually and as a group. The panel will hold a group discussion as well as answer questions from the audience.

Salgado said speakers will talk about a variety of different subjects, “They will speak about personal stories, obstacles, struggles, successes, the importance of having mentors, doing internships and getting involved in school, as well as the community,” Salgado said.

Speakers on the success panel are Maria Marin, Daniel Castro, who was once a student of Latino icon Jaime Escalante; Graciela Moreno, anchor for ABC 30 Action News; Martin Mares, Lisa Casarez and former ASI President Pedro Ramirez.

“We chose to have Pedro Ramirez speak because he is a role model for some people,” Salgado said. “He was able to become ASI president and it may show others that they too could become ASI president.”

The planning for the conference began in August, when Salgado and co-coordinator Amy Wilson began brainstorming. After the initial brainstorming and recruitment for the organization, the members of ¡Motívate! began contacting possible speakers for the event and putting together details.

“It was a long process, but very rewarding,” Salgado said. “We the ¡Motívate! team believe we are creating a positive impact and setting an example for others to do something better in our community.”

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