Joliet Junior College will host the seventh annual Latinx Student Empowerment Conference on Friday.
“The purpose of this conference is to inform and inspire our local high school students that you can go to college, regardless of any barriers in their way,” said conference coordinator and multicultural pathway coach Martha Villegas Miranda in a news release. “JJC is a welcoming institution for all students including those who are undocumented and is an excellent choice for any student to start their college and career path.”
More than 300 local high school students from Bolingbrook, Joliet West, Morris, Plainfield North, Joliet Central, Lockport, Plainfield East and Romeoville are expected to attend the conference. The event’s keynote speaker is Cesar Vargas, New York’s first openly undocumented attorney, according to the news release.
Vargas was an undocumented law graduate from CUNY Law School and led the fight for equal opportunity and access to the practice of law. He made history in February 2016 as the first undocumented lawyer in the state of New York after a lengthy battle. He also worked for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign as the National Latino Outreach strategist.
The conference begins at 9 a.m. with an opening ceremony to honor Native American Heritage Month, a welcome from JJC President Judy Mitchell and workshops on empowerment.
Vargas will speak at 11 a.m. and the public is invited to come to his presentation.