MEChA attends the annual Cesar E. Chavez Leadership Conference


Miguel Tejeda

MEChA traveled to Western Oregon University Friday, November 12th. Members posing for a picture while at the annual Cesar E. Chavez Conference.

On Friday November 12, 2021, a group of nine Wilsonville MEChistas headed over to Western Oregon University for the annual Cesar E. Chavez Leadership Conference. At this conference, the main overarching theme was “Nuestra Gente: resilient through social change”.

To say the least, the speaker was one of the best parts. We normalized talking about trauma and we got to hear his experience as an immigrant in this country. We learned how it takes $455 a year to pay for DACA, plus an immigration attorney’s cost for filing. We explored the depths of his experience in America and how he was “kidnapped” and brought to this country, without his knowing, at the age of three.

After Yosimar Reyes spoke and gave us encouragement to continue fighting for immigrants, we headed off to session 1. We got to learn about financial aid and how to avoid taking out loans because of how much money we will have to pay in the future. We learned about work study and local and national scholarship opportunities. After the session, we headed into a college fair and Alejandina Monge got accepted into WOU!

We ended the conference by watching ballet folklorico and getting some presents from a raffle. On the way home, we stopped at Burgerville and enjoyed some good food. Overall, this was one of the best conferences we have attended and we were extraordinarily grateful for the opportunity to attend the Cesar E. Chavez Leadership Conference.