Latinx @ UVA

Latinx @ UVA

Latinx Leadership Institute

The Latinx Leadership Institute is a 6-week, student-facilitated and cohort-based leadership development program for 30 1st and 2nd Year Hispanic/Latinx emerging leaders. Recruitment takes place in the fall, ahead of sessions which typically take place in the spring semester, culminating in a final presentation in which participants present their findings on a semester-long project tackling issues within the Hispanic/Latinx community.

Mission:

The Latinx Leadership Institute aims to empower Latinx students at the University of Virginia by providing a space for individual growth and the formation of lasting relationships among Latinx student leaders. The organization seeks to enhance professional skills, build an understanding of various Latinx cultures, and to develop leadership potential in action. Through these efforts, the Latinx Leadership Institute hopes to equip Latinx students to be successful leaders and maximize the endless opportunities available throughout the University and beyond.

 


Founding year: 

Fall 2017

Founders:

Alex Cintron

Lauren Faloni

Natalia Heguaburo

Hector Quijano

Vicky Stagnaro

Raquel Talbott

Creation:

This organization was created because the founders felt as though there was a disconnection between the Hispanic/Latinx community and many other large communities at UVA. There was and still is an under-representation of Hispanic/Latinx students in many positions of leadership and organizations with significant influence over our university. This reality was what inspired six Latinx students to bridge those gaps and create the Latinx Leadership Institute. With the support of the Multicultural Student Services office, the first LLI cohort program was launched in the spring semester of 2018.  

This initiative strives to empower first and second year Hispanic/Latinx students to maximize opportunities at UVa. It can be difficult for Latinx students to feel comfortable at UVa for a wide range of reasons, such as being a first generation student, having very high family expectations, or simply being at a university that has provided enough resources for the Latinx community. Members believe LLI can help students gain the confidence they need to take action and step up both within the Latinx community and outside of it. Additionally, LLI is designed to foster a space for Latinx students to form bonds that can help them support each other throughout the rest of their time at UVa.

Structure:

The executive structure of the board consists of one Executive Director that organizes the development process of the program with the help of five other directors who have a flat leadership structure. The reason for this is to make sure someone is responsible for organizing the team, while also avoiding directors only focusing on specific tasks. In this way, the executive board can all work together to cover multiple bases of the program’s development.

Efforts:

  • Each year a cohort of approximately 30 students are selected to participate in six weekly sessions focusing on professionalism, cultural fluency, and leadership style development. The sessions consist of dialogue, special guest speakers, and workshop activities. Students work on a culminating project tackling specific issues within the Hispanic/Latinx community which they will present at a networking event. Additionally, students have the opportunity to foster new friendships through several social events.

Information Collected through Interviews with program founders Hector Quijano (C/O 2019) and Alex Cintron (C/O 2019)