Al Exito


fabiana centeno

On the morning announcements, you hear about how the football team did last week, how there are basketball tryouts next week, how you should join track this spring. But you never hear much about clubs or programs which causes less chances of students joining programs/clubs to have a chance to get try new opportunities for education or for college.  

One program that you never hear about is Al Éxito. This is a non-profit organization that provides programming to build the leadership potential of Latino/a youth through college preparation, career development, civic engagement, family support, and celebration of culture. Also, by being activists in our community as a group by participating in rallies, peaceful protest, and political events. “It’s guidance, mentorship and shaping the minds of young adults,”spanish teacher Ruby Herrera said.  

This group travels to different places to engage with their community to receive training. They are always open to everyone even those who aren’t Latino to participate in their group by understanding what types of conflicts they go through and can gain an understanding of their point of view.  

“It’s a program that helps with our college process and we do a lot of action against social justice,” freshman Iris Amaya-Leiva said. 

Many students are very passionate about this program because it has helped them in personal issues or in leadership skills.  

“[The] group is an opportunity to become a leader, to activate yourself,” senior Cindy Delgado said.  

Delgado has been in Al Èxito since the beginning of high school. Al Èxito has taken many students including Delgado to college visits, out of state and share their stories with authorities.  

“It’s affected me in a good way. It’s taken me to Chicago, college visits, scholarships and we even started a business, |drem|sed| which is a youth led businesses and we partner with local Latino businesses,” sophomore Caroly Coronado-Vargas said.  

Al Èxito has given many students to get out of their comfort zones and helped with public speaking. “I’ve found out I’m an activist, I like to speak out and believe in a chance to get more leadership skills,” Lincoln High Junior Wendy Lerma-Guerrero said.  

They are very involved in the community. Speaking at rallies and at protests. One memorable protest was at the day of immigrants the protest at the capital, many students did public speaking and built more confidence.  

“It’s a support group, we talk about stuff that bothers me and people understand. Nothing I see at school very often,” Delgado said.  

Many students describe this group as a family and way to speak about topics schools don’t allow or they’re not comfortable speaking about such as immigration, stereotypes and conflicts with the communities. 

However, many students don’t even know about this group or even many teachers. “They give other groups promos but not us,” Coronado-Vargas said. It isn’t promoted in the school announcements or talked about in school. “How well they keep these programs, it speaks loudly how you see your students and how you value them,” Herrera said.  

The fact that schools don’t promote this program gives students a less chance to find a group to help them succeed or give them a safe space. “Schools promote sports more, opportunities should be more spoken out than entertainment,” Lerma-Guerrero said. 

Another huge way schools leave Al Èxito out is by not showing Al Èxito’s accomplishments on Class Day. “When the seniors present their groups Al Èxito isn’t included,” Delgado said. During Class Day, seniors present the clubs they are in and all the accomplishments they earned in the group.  

“They don’t want the Latino population to take over, they don’t want minorities to succeed and they’re setting us to fail,” Coronado-Vargas said. This program helps many students with Latino descents and prepare for life choices, learn about their cultural and how to overcome obstacles with society. The fact that it isn’t represented doesn’t show all their accomplishments with speaking with authorities, going to conferences and speaking their voices.  

“There’s lack of communication, we need to build more leaders with schools to go to the principals or administrators saying what they need and demand for Al Èxito,” Herrera said.