Taking a Virtual Leap

This year’s LEAP Conference went virtual, but stayed true to its mission and purpose of empowering BIPOC, first-generation, and other historically marginalized high school students in the state of Iowa.

The conference allowed for intentional engagement between the students and conference presenters. Students had the option of choosing which session to attend. Sessions were presented by Iowa ACAC Inclusion, Access, and Success committee members and covered topics ranging from selecting a major, the transition from high school to college as a first-generation student, tips and resources to assist LGBTQIA+ students in their college search, and scholarship assistance as undocumented/DACAmented students. Special thank you to the presenters:

  • Janine Baeza, University of Northern Iowa
  • April Finley, Iowa State University
  • Gabriel Hernandez, Mount Mercy University
  • Monica Reyes, Co-Founder of DREAM Iowa, a non-profit organization dedicated to building sustainability in the efforts of lifting the voice and finding avenues to break barriers faced by immigrants
  • Jessica Salgado, Coe College
  • Yuri Tilapa, Coe College

The virtual conference drew in close to 30 students. Feedback on this year’s event has been overwhelmingly positive from the student participants, their advisors, and conference presenters.

We look forward to next year’s conference and to once again host the event in-person. Stay tuned for dates!

If you have any questions or suggestions about the LEAP Conference, please do not hesitate to contact Iowa ACAC Inclusion, Access, and Success Committee Co-Chairs Yuri Tilapa at: [email protected] or Juanita Weyenberg at: [email protected]

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