For 25 years, La Raza Youth Leadership Institute has empowered students to go to college, be proud of their roots and always give back to their community.

La Raza Youth Leadership Insititute

The institute has two parts, the annual conference and the months-long leadership program.

The mission is to expose Colorado's Chicanx/Latinx youth to college, scholarship and development opportunities, as well as to promote the importance of higher education, career planning, self-esteem and cultural identity with workshops, education fairs and keynote speakers. 

The conference does all that in one day with hundredths of students of all over the state. The leadership program, are weekly sessions with a smaller group that has to go through an application process. 

During Saturday's conference, many more students added themselves to that legacy.  

A legacy that is at risk of ending.

Jenny Santos with Servicios de La Raza, says they do not have the funding to continue the efforts of the program.

For 15 years she's helped organize the institute and connect students to colleges and universities.

"We need connections, we need people to actually be volunteering their time so we can move this effort forward," said Santos.

She remains optimistic that the alumni will step up and help. They need help with partnerships for food and materials.

Santos says the conference is $20,000 - $25,000 to put on and the leadership program is another $10,000.

"We've been struggling now for 4-5 years," said Santos, "but regardless if it's struggling it's not going to stop us from organizing."

If you'd like to help, contact Jenny Santos with La Raza Youth Leadership Program/Conference.