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Engaging Hispanic Students from High School to College Graduation

6th Annual Diversidad Conference
Engaging Hispanic Students from High School to College Graduation

Friday, September 7, 2018 | 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Diversidad Hispanic Conference brings higher education professionals and area high school students together to learn and share ideas about how to engage our Hispanic community from successful student to employable college graduate.


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Jessica Ayalla

Jessica Ayala is a published author, spoken word artist and writer-in-residence at Charlotte Street Foundation. She immigrated to the United States from Colombia South America at the age of three, learning to speak and write in the English language by the third grade. Miss Ayala published her first series of poems at the age of eight for The Young Authors Conference. Her recent poetry has been published in two anthologies winning an Honorable Medal in the 2017 International Latino Book Awards. Her first book of poetry entitled Huelga joins the Kansas City POP! Poetry series of writers as book #32. Huelga is a collection of poems spanning ten years during Ayala's time inside the classroom, lobbying, and working with undocumented students. Huelga takes a critical look at the social, political and cultural injustices of Latin America awakening the untold stories of the indigenous diaspora. She is currently on tour with Huelga and working on publishing her second book, Just A Kid From Ipiales, a poetic memoir documenting her unique journey as an immigrant youth living in the United States. She is the recipient of the 2000 Missouri Speaker of the Year Award by the Metropolitan Community College League of Competitive Acting and Poetry. Additionally, Jessica is the recipient of the 2010 Legacy Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts and Social Justice for MCCKC. She is currently organizing on the national level with RAICES to assist in the reunification of asylum-seeking families.