Army Education News

Strengthening Families through Education, Opportunity and Empowerment: The U.S. Army Partners with the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) for the 88th LULAC National Convention

Sep 25, 2017


As a long-standing partner of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the U.S. Army continued its commitment to supporting the educational and professional aspirations of Hispanic youth during the 88th LULAC National Convention in San Antonio, Texas. 

From July 4-8, 2017, Hispanic leaders and students from across the country gathered at the Henry B. Gonzalez Center in downtown San Antonio, to discuss a variety of topics including college and career readiness, leadership development and diversity. 

With diversity continuing to be one of the Army’s greatest missions, the conference’s location in one of the country’s most culturally rich Hispanic communities made this year’s event particularly special. Similar to San Antonio, where Hispanics account for more than 60 percent of the city’s population, the Army boasts a diverse culture with racial and ethnic minorities encompassing 40 percent of the total Army. As the face of the nation, the Army strives for its Soldiers to reflect the inclusive culture and unique diversity that are the hallmarks of the American way of life. 

It is for this reason that the Army has continued to partner with LULAC on a mission to empower youth through education and opportunities – not only in the U.S. Army, but in the civilian workforce. The success of the national convention was a culmination of the hard work and dedication that the U.S. Army and LULAC share to the development and success of future Hispanic leaders. 

Throughout the week, the Army hosted an interactive exhibit booth, where attendees engaged with Soldiers and learned about the many educational and career opportunities that the Army offers in more than 200 career specialties, including engineering, cyber security, medicine, communication, automotive, culinary arts, and more.

Staff Sergeant Danny O’Brien speaks with students about the endless educational and career opportunities available in the U.S. Army during the LULAC National Convention at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center on July 6, 2017.

The Army’s most eventful day was on Friday, July 7, when the Army hosted a number of events, including the National Educational Service Centers (LNESC) Breakfast, the Federal Training Institute Youth and Collegiate Luncheon, and the interactive Army Leadership Roundtable discussion. 

At the LNESC Breakfast, Colonel Terrance L. Huston, the 5th Recruiting Brigade Commander for the U.S. Army Recruiting Command, focused his remarks on the theme of this year’s Convention, “Strengthening Families through Education, Opportunity and Empowerment.” He spoke about the importance of education for the overall success of a family and the generations that follow. He discussed how the Army Team is the strongest extended family in the world and how it offers the guidance and support to lead anyone to greater success. 

Colonel Terrance L. Huston discusses the importance of a strong and supportive team during the LNESC Breakfast at the Marriott Riverwalk in San Antonio on Friday, July 7. 

Following the breakfast, the Army hosted a Leadership Workshop that focused on the Army’s three core leader competencies – Leads, Develops and Achieves. Lieutenant Colonel Blanca Reyes, Professor of Military Science, U.S. Army Reserves Officer Training Corps (ROTC) at New Mexico State University, led the workshop and gave the students an overview of the leader competencies and how the students could apply each of them to tough situations moving forward. Following Lieutenant Colonel Reyes’ overview, students were provided scenarios in which they had to decide what leadership values they would apply to resolve the conflict. Soldiers seated at each of the tables, provided advice to students before each group gave a short presentation on their resolution.

A Soldier helps students navigate a tough leadership scenario by explaining the Army’s three core leader competencies during the Leadership Workshop at the LULAC Convention on July 7, 2017.

In the afternoon, the Army hosted the Federal Training Institute Youth and Collegiate Luncheon, where approximately 200 local area students heard from Army leaders about the many career paths and opportunities for higher education that the Army offers. During the luncheon, students were able to ask a panel of Soldiers, as well as an ROTC cadet about their personal experiences with the Army. At the conclusion of the luncheon, Lieutenant Colonel Jose Garcia, Professor of Military Science at Texas State University, presented a scholarship valued at $102,000 to Army ROTC Cadet, Joshua Tinajero.

Lieutenant Colonel Garcia awards ROTC Cadet Joshua Tinajero an Army ROTC scholarship for St. Mary’s University during the FTI Youth Collegiate Forum Luncheon at the LULAC Convention on July 7, 2017.

The convention concluded on Saturday, July 8, with the Presidential Awards Banquet, where the U.S. Army Band, Fort Sam Houston’s own Latin Invasion, was the featured entertainment. Attendees celebrated the close of the successful conference by dancing and singing along as the band played classic Latin hits.

Fort Sam’s Own Latin Invasion Band performs at the LULAC Convention’s concert, “Voces Unidas por America” on July 8, 2017 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.

From interactive leadership roundtable discussions for students to engaging luncheons for community and business leaders, the conference provided a forum for attendees to address some of the educational concerns that the Hispanic community faces, including the various economic factors that have contributed to Hispanics lagging other minority groups in obtaining a postsecondary education. 

Although Hispanics continue to fall behind other groups in earning four-year degrees, the constant efforts of the U.S. Army and LULAC have led to positive results for the Hispanic community, with more Hispanics than never before getting a postsecondary education. In addition, the efforts of both groups have contributed to the dramatic decrease in the Hispanic high school dropout rate, which has recently reached an all-time low, but still remains higher than other minority groups. 

Recognizing that there is still more work to be done, the U.S. Army will continue working with LULAC to advance the educational and career goals of the Hispanic community, not only through its participation in the annual conference, but also by sponsoring the LULAC National Educational Services Centers (LNESC) college tours, a program that brings high school students to college campuses to explore pathways to higher education.

The LNESC College Tours program aims to provide students with information about preparing for college, navigating the application process, and financing college. During these college tours, students meet with university admissions and financial aid representatives, as well as Army ROTC personnel. This initiative will begin later in the year and will continue through the beginning of 2018 in six cities across the country, including San Antonio, Texas, St. Louis, Mo., Albuquerque, N.M., Dallas, Texas, Houston, Texas, and San Diego, Calif. 

For more information about LULAC and the upcoming LNESC College Tours, please visit: http://lulac.org/





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