Omar Leal—2013 Fellow

Omar Leal

Year: Class of 2015
Major: International Studies and Anthropology
Organization: Communidades Latinas Unidas En Servico (CLUES)

I worked with CLUES and their Youth in Action program, a youth leadership and college access program aimed at increasing leadership among Latino communities in the Twin Cities. I worked to introduce a more active focus on college access through workshops in the summer. I also created a leadership position for high school seniors in the program to create a chance for them to give them a greater impact in the program they are a part of. There were some aspects and ideas of my project that did not come to fruition but I hope to continue to work with CLUES to make them a reality. Although the summer component has concluded, I am excited to continue working with this program and helping these students achieve their post-secondary educational goals.

Chuck Green made it possible for me to create change in a way that I felt would be effective and fulfilling. It gave me the independence to be able to decide for myself what was important in the formation of my project. Being completely independent was a difficult and valuable experience. but I was not alone. I had the entire Chuck Green Cohort there to support me through any obstacles. In the end, I learned a lot about how I want to work with youth to insure a more equal access of opportunities among minority groups and integrate that into my plans beyond Macalester.