GGUSD Hosts 10th Annual Latinos Unidos Conference

Latinos Unidos Conference attendees

The tenth annual Garden Grove Unified School District (GGUSD) Latino Unidos Conference was held January 14 on the campus of California State University, Fullerton with approximately 300 students in attendance. The conference is organized by district-level Latinos Unidos student board members to provide leadership training and help students prepare for academic, personal, and lifelong success.

The event kicked off with empowering presentations from Superintendent Gabriela Mafi, Board of Education President Walter Muneton, as well as Sergio Contreras of Orange County United Way, event sponsor and one of the district’s longtime supporters of Latinos Unidos. Board of Education Vice President Teri Rocco and Trustee Lan Nguyen as well as district and school administrators also attended the event.

During the leadership conference, students attended a networking fair and exchanged business cards with area professionals, learned about community resources and Latino organizations, and were introduced to potential part-time job opportunities after high school.  

“This event empowers Latinx students to be proud of their background, adopt a growth mindset and strengthen skills that will bring about lifelong success,” said Board of Education President Walter Muneton who presented about overcoming obstacles.  “Students leave the conference feeling a sense of belonging with their classmates and an excitement for what the future holds.”

Students received a virtual campus tour and attended workshops on topics like time management, Latinx scholarships, embracing biliteracy, social media and mental health, the pathway to college, overcoming obstacles, and others. 

The Latinos Unidos program was launched to provide a unique system of supports to GGUSD Latinos Unidos students through tutoring, mentorship, community service, college preparation and cultural events. Approximately 57 percent of GGUSD students are Hispanic/Latino, more than 75 percent are socioeconomically disadvantaged and more than 80 percent have a second language background. 

With help from a club advisor, each of the district’s eight high schools, as well as several intermediate and elementary schools have visible, active Latinos Unidos clubs.  The clubs help embrace and honor student’s rich cultural heritage and provide them with a framework to achieve success.