Brian Nicholson, Deseret News
This year at Payson High School, Latinos in Action has 21 students enrolled in a class that is based upon learning leadership skills, focusing on community service and improving literacy. The purpose of Latinos in Action is "To empower our Latino youth through culture, service leadership and excellent education" (Dr. Jose Enriquez, founder or Latinos in Action).
Since the program began at Payson High School, the graduation rate among Latinos has been 100 percent, and 85 percent of them enroll in college. The students are currently being trained on a reading program called STAR. The program prepares them for work at the local elementary school where they will serve as para-professionals by tutoring younger children in reading and math skills. They also work with classroom teachers and cater to the classroom needs.
This service is valuable to the Latinos in Action students because they gain work experience and because they are bilingual. They are seen as powerful and productive role models in the community. Latinos in Action is involved in the community and the school through different activities throughout the school year. Latinos in Action is planning to be a part of the Make a Wish foundation this holiday season.