MADERA, California (KGPE) — For the first time, Madera Unified hosted the Migrant Youth Leadership Conference to motivate its students to pursue higher education. Pushing the message further with the keynote speaker, who was a Fresno gang member that ended up going to Harvard University.
The theme of the conference was, “Lead, Inspire and Succeed!” Hundreds of students between 7th grade to high school seniors learned about college admissions requirements, the registration process, as well as scholarship opportunities.
Richard Santana served as the inaugural keynote speaker. Santana, who used to be a third-generation gang member, graduated from Fresno State before heading to Harvard for his Master’s Degree.
“Even though I am on a different path and a different journey, I still have my roots and my heritage here,” Santana said. “You can take the homeboy out of the barrio, but you can’t take the barrio out of the homeboy.”
Santana speaks to students nationwide as part of his Homeboy Goes To Harvard production.
The conference was hosted on Madera Community College’s campus.