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Wyoming Latinas Encouraged To Pursue STEM

Celebrating its 17th year, the Wyoming Latina Youth Conference hosted young Wyoming women of Hispanic descent for two days of programming in Laramie on October 13 and 14. The theme this year was, “embracing leadership, science, and creativity.”

Over 200 female students in 5th through 12th grade attended workshops on science, technology, and creativity, in order to foster a belief in the power to choose their future.

Professor Cecelia Aragon directs the Latina/o studies program at the University of Wyoming, and she is also the executive director of the conference. She said, “The mission and goal of the Wyoming Latina Conference is to encourage young girls to graduate from high school and enter into the educational system.”

Aragon added that the conference, which has received support from Governor Mead, has positive implications for Wyoming’s economic future. “We’re diversifying the economy,” Aragon said. “And one way to diversify the economy is to diversify the pool of applicants in the STEM field.”

Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow said in a letter to schools that the conference is both working for the educational success of Wyoming’s Hispanic students, and also making a difference in Wyoming’s communities. 

The conference kicked off with a banquet featuring keynote speaker Linda Alvarado, President and CEO of Alvarado Construction in Denver. She also is part owner of the Colorado Rockies baseball team. The banquet was open to the public.

For more information go to wyominglatinayouthconference.com.

Tennessee -- despite what the name might make you think -- was born and raised in the Northeast. She most recently called Vermont home. For the last 15 years she's been making radio -- as a youth radio educator, documentary producer, and now reporter. Her work has aired on Reveal, The Heart, LatinoUSA, Across Women's Lives from PRI, and American RadioWorks. One of her ongoing creative projects is co-producing Wage/Working (a jukebox-based oral history project about workers and income inequality). When she's not reporting, Tennessee likes to go on exploratory running adventures with her mutt Murray.
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