Empowering the Next Generation: Esperanza United’s 2024 Youth Conference

On February 24, 2024, Esperanza United hosted our annual Youth Conference at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. The event brought together over 50 youth, aged 11 to 18, and was themed “Raíces Fuertes, Bright Futures– a theme chosen by a cohort of six youth leaders. 


Raíces Fuertes, Bright Futures” emphasizes the importance of acknowledging and celebrating one’s heritage and identity as the foundation for successful and healthy relationships and leadership. The conference included a range of breakout sessions, many of which were facilitated by youth leaders. 

Esperanza United’s Prevention and Social Change team led an interactive workshop about healthy masculinity, encouraging a more inclusive understanding of what it means to be masculine in today’s world, while addressing common stereotypes. 

Youth from our Amig@s program led breakout sessions about the importance of healthy relationships. Discussing this topic with peers better equipped the youth attendees with the knowledge to foster positive interactions in their lives. This dialogue also enabled them to understand healthy relationships within the cultural context of Latin@ community

Other topics explored included financial literacy, Indigenous roots, and artistic expression.

For over five years, Esperanza United’s annual Youth Conference has served as a reminder of our organization’s commitment to ending gender-based violence and fostering bright futures for the Latin@ youth of St. Paul and the greater metro area. We are proud to continue to support youth leaders in creating this important space.