Latina/o Empowerment at De Anza was created by 12 students who wanted a student leadership development program that focused on Latina/o culture and Latina/o communities. Our first class was held in the summer of 2005. We focused on creating a supportive pedagogy that would provide mentorship, opportunities for service, and link our students to issues they cared deeply about.
Academics & Community and Civic Engagement
Today, LEAD offers classes in a variety of disciplines. The common thread is that all LEAD classes are based on the theories of popular education first put forward by Paulo Freire. Our students teach one another, they give at least 12 hours of service to the community, and they create a sense of familia in every class. We also work closely with the Institute of Community and Civic Engagement to create community partners.
LEAD serves more than 1000 students every year in classes including: Basic Skills to Transfer Level English Writing, Women’s Studies, Intercultural Studies, and Sociology.
Every spring we offer our LEAD EWRT2 Leadership Development class that allows students to develop their own social justice projects and carry them through from idea to completion.
In the past six years, LEAD students have also raised more than $5,000 to provide direct support to students who contribute to community service activities at De Anza and in their own communities. This aid is given in the form of book and bus pass vouchers and stipends.
¡LEAD! students have traveled to San Francisco and Sacramento to meet with legislators and protest cuts to the education budget. They have created films on the issues of homosexuality in Latina/o families, and what it means to be an AB540 student at De Anza.
Our students have received the most prestigious scholarships offered at De Anza and have been accepted for transfer to the very best schools in the nation. Members of our first LEAD class have recently been accepted to graduate school, law school, pharmacy school, and to work as interns for state and national legislators and non-profit agencies. To date, LEAD students have earned more than $100,000 in scholarships.