Welcoming Latino Leadership

Neighborhood House is welcoming a new, but existing, program into its repertoire: the Latino Leadership Program. 

The program is for Latinx who want to strengthen their skills and connections so they can be more involved in their communities. 

Previously housed at the Wilder Foundation, the Latino Leadership Program comes to Neighborhood at the end of 2020 to be rolled out in early 2021. 

“Wilder is grateful for Neighborhood House’s partnership to continue the important work of the Latino Leadership Program,” says Armando Camacho, president and CEO of Wilder and former Neighborhood House president. “I know firsthand the deep connections they have with the Latinx community and the positive difference they make for families throughout Saint Paul. I have no doubt the program will flourish with the support and leadership of Neighborhood House.”

Victoria Campoverde, the program manager, began working with Wilder’s Neighborhood Leadership program back in 2008, helping them adapt their curriculum for the Latinx community and create Latino Leadership.

“When you are hurting, you won’t share with whoever. You need to be in a space where people understand you,” Victoria explains. “[Latinx] understand each other. We have similar backgrounds and people can be more confident to share and grow together.” 

As a past participant of the program herself, Victoria speaks from experience. “I am so grateful for the program because I was part of it.”

The free program follows a 7-week course with sessions conducted in Spanish around topics like leadership styles, teamwork, conflict resolution, and public speaking. During the sessions, students complete learning activities and conduct small group discussions. The ultimate goal is to help people make a difference in their schools, communities, and neighborhoods. 

“That’s the amazing thing about the program. People find themselves, they find their value. And for the Latino community, this is so important,” says Victoria. She explains that immigrants often feel overwhelmed by paperwork and a new culture when they arrive in the United States, but that they still want to be part of their community. “Working in leadership makes people more confident in themselves, allows them to participate in their schools and community, and have hope too.”

“Since 2007 we’ve been working to find different ways to partner with the community and bring a deep and helpful program that responds to the needs of the Latino community in leadership,” says Victoria. “Now as part of Neighborhood House, my goal is to continue to bring a quality program to the Latino community and keep growing.”