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Juntos Celebrates Quinceañera at National Convening

Juntos NC staff joined students and professionals from around the nation for the event at Oregon State University.

A large group of students and professionals pose for a photo in front of a banner that reads "Bienvenidos!"
Juntos NC delegation at the National Convening

The first in-person Juntos National Convening was held at Oregon State University March 22-24. This event brought together national and state leaders, professionals, alumni and current Juntos youth from 13 states to celebrate 15 years of programming while building networks, collaborating and creating a vision for the next 15 years.

The Convening provided a space for all Juntos states and others interested in this work to build on best practices within Juntos, engage in discussion around educational access barriers and solutions, identify and increase collaborative opportunities between states, and create a vision for the growth and sustainability of Juntos.

The event included professional sessions and family engagement as well as workshops about best practices on running a Juntos summer academy on campus, strengthening Juntos 4-H programming, sustainability, evaluation and more.

Sixty-five students representing eight states who are currently involved in the Juntos Program also played an important role at National Convening. Not only were they at the forefront of creating visions for the future of Juntos, but they had the chance to share their unique Juntos experiences with students from other states. Youth from Juntos NC State made sure to highlight the experiences they have had at the Juntos Summer Academy held at NC State every summer.   

Students also visited the OYEN Emotional Wellness Center, which is a bilingual and bicultural mental health resource. They also participated in a career exploration workshop with Lane Workforce Partnership, which works to meet the workforce needs of employers and individuals through partnership and innovation. One of their tasks as students was to create a vision statement that will drive the next 15 years of the Juntos Program. 

Additionally, the celebration included a special performance from Ballet Folklorico Guelaguetza, where children, adults and seniors performed traditional dances from Mexico and Latin America for the audience to experience the cultural diversity of our Hispanic countries. 

Juntos NC State is looking forward to hosting the next National Convening on campus in spring 2025. 

Student and Staff Feedback

Arizona Student:

“People in Juntos realize this is an opportunity for them and this can take them places; I see what it gives other people and I see what it can give me.”

Wisconsin Student:

“I got to learn a lot of new things and absorb a lot of knowledge that I can take back to my county. I got to meet a lot of important and very knowledgeable people whose goals are to help out the community that they live in. I made new friendships that I will probably carry on in my life and I got to network a lot. Juntos is very special to me, and I feel like it is very needed in my community and it is going to help me in my future goals in postsecondary education.”

Idaho Professional:

“[It’s amazing] bringing the youth here to see that they are not alone in Juntos and that they have people all over the country that they connect with that are doing the same program and again using that base that all we have is each other. They are networking and have access to friends and other universities and adults supporting them all across the country.”