Program immerses students in Latino communities

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Charlie Kenney | November 14, 2017

The Institute for Latino Studies (ILS) offers the Cross-Cultural Leadership Program (CCLP), an eight-week immersive program in the Latino communities of Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. The specialized leadership program started nearly 10 years ago by Center for Social Concerns founder the late Rev. Donald P. McNeill.

“It’s really a transformative experience,” said program director Karen Richman. “The students are never the same. It helps many of them figure out what they want to do next, for many it consolidates their academic and career plans, and for others it shows I don’t wanna do this I’m gonna take a right turn.”

According to the ILS website, the program, which takes place during the summer, primarily consists of students participating in internship and service opportunities in urban Latino communities in the United States. Different communities and service sites are tailored to unique students interests.

Students interested in law are sent to sites like the Library of Congress in Washington, medicine students to sites like the Alivio Medical Center in Chicago and art students to sites like the Self-Help Graphics initiative in Los Angeles, Richman said.

“We get pre-meds, business majors, arts and letters majors, occasionally an engineer,” Ms. Richman said. “It’s a mix — reflective of the diversity in our Latino Studies program.”

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Originally published by Daily Domer Staff at on November 14, 2017.