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What’s Special About Me: Latino Teens Speak Up

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VOX traveled to the Latin American Association’s annual Latino Youth Leadership Conference at Georgia State University earlier this month to share the voices of Latino teens around the topics of identity, values and community. The event’s theme was “Education Is My Superpower,” and more than 2,000 Latino middle and high school students from around Georgia attended.

Several teens shared their opinions and experiences through writing and collaging about what makes Latino (Latina, Latinx) youth unique, what they care deeply about, and how they will lead their community.

By J*., 15

I think what’s so special about me as a Latino teen is that I can read three languages and speak three languages. Also, that will give me more opportunities in jobs. What I care about deeply is my future. I want to reach my goals. I also care about my family and friends.

By S., 16

How I will lead as a Latino teen is by giving the same opportunities like others have because we are not different. If you are Mexican or Latin, I think I would give you the same opportunities even if you are not from this community, you will have the same chances as others.

By H., age 16
By H., age 16

By C., 15

What is special about being Latina is that I get so many opportunities for jobs I want. I can also speak three languages, which helps me get a job where I get paid more.

By A., 15

Well, my family is from Haiti and Dominican Republic, and what is special is to have family in different cultures to learn different cultures and different languages and all of that good stuff … My community is not the greatest, ya know, there’s a lot of stuff going on … We want freedom, justice and equality. So, what I would do in the community is fix up my community and gather the people and work together.

By J., age 16
By J., age 16

By M., 15

Just growing up is something different because not everyone is privileged to have different cultures and different people and be in different environments. I grew up with a lot of different cultures. My father has Native American Cherokee in him as well as Haitian, and my mom is Mexican …

It’s very good to learn different languages because you’re able to communicate as far as business and you can make friends socially, and I think it’s an advantage instead of a disadvantage. It’s kind of like an asset.

As far as something I care about as a Latino youth, I care about the people and the youth because I know I have a lot of influence among my peers and I can make a change in my community environment. I care deeply about my family and many things in my life are deeply important to me, but just being youthful and keeping that youthful spirit and just being able to do things that maybe other people can’t do and just thanking God everyday for the things I do have and being grateful … Basically just trying to help raise your community out of the condition it might be in if it’s bad, because the place where I’m from it’s not really a nice community.

So through my business of hopefully being a pilot as well as a farmer, I would like to start urban farms locally in my community so that people can have healthy and good foods. And also I would like to start aviation courses because many young people need somewhere to go and need a path to go in and aviation, I believe, is a really good path. Many people from lower-income communities don’t really have that advantage of taking different classes, so I’ll provide all of this free. Also I’ll provide scholarships for young people who really want to go to college and pursue something that they dreamed of pursuing and making their life better and making the world better. So, it’s just starting with yourself, your community, your city, your nation, and then you can impact the world as a nation. So, that’s what I’m trying to do.

by M., 16

by M., 16
collages by M., 16

Interested in a VOX workshop for your organization?

VOX’s Atlanta Teen Voices program offers workshops where teens can speak-up, write and create art and media to be shared on To raise and share teens’ voices, contact


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