Five UA Little Rock students have been fundraising for the opportunity to attend the 2022 League of United Latin American Citizens Council (LULAC) National Convention July 25-30 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

LULAC is the largest and oldest Hispanic and Latino civil rights organization in the United States. Unable to attend the national conference since 2016, the five students are planning to bring back leadership skills to help the Latino community in Arkansas.

“We want to bring information back from the conference so we can give back to the Latino community in Little Rock,” said Christine Jones, president of UA Little Rock LULAC Council 771. “We all plan to attend different workshops so we can learn as much as possible. We want the opportunity to meet with other students like us and network with LULAC organizations from around the country.”

The students who will attend the conference include Jones, a graduate student in technical and professional writing, Frankie Magallanes, LULAC secretary and a senior computer science major, Stephanie Sandoval, a criminal justice major, Kassandra Torres, a sophomore in the School of Public Affairs, and Luis Vazquez, a sophomore civil engineering and construction management major.

The fundraising efforts have brought about a large amount of community support for the students. So far, they have received a donation of conference registration fees from Walmart Inc., $4,000 from the Student Experience Center, $2,000 from the Student Government Association, $400 from the Graduate Student Association, and more from online donations.

The students need to raise approximately $11,550 for the trip, and they have recently raised the last of what they need in July through a tamale sale that raised more than $1,000 and $500 donation from a patron.

Each year, the LULAC National Convention draws over 20,000 participants from across the country including top leaders from the government, business, and the LatinX community to determine the positions and strategies of a national LatinX organization.

The UA Little Rock students will represent their colleges and the university while they participate in professional development workshops, learn leadership skills, share issues that affect the Hispanic community nationwide, and learn how to bring these leadership skills back to communities in Arkansas.

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