Latino community reaches out to youth

Friday, February 1st 2008, 7:42 pm
By: News 9

By Melissa Maynarich, NEWS 9

As the Latino population in Oklahoma grows, leaders in the community are reaching out to encourage young Hispanics to get an education.

Students learned about the importance of education during the Fourth Annual Latino Youth Leadership Conference.

"We are growing five times faster than the overall population," said Larry Geurrero, Oklahoma City University professor. "We are the fastest growing population in the U.S."

Geurrero said students need to learn about their college opportunities.

"That's one of the things about education and Hispanics, a lot of times they don't value education," he said. "They look at different things to do with a life or career that might lead into crime."

Luis Barrientos attended the conference and said he enjoyed it.

"All you hear is ‘ah, this Mexican did this,' and it's all bad," Barrientos said. "But we never hear, ‘this Mexican helped out the community in this way.' We heard more negative than positive stuff."