At a time when Cleveland hopes to expand and retain its pool of local talented leaders, Esperanza is promoting a program that encourages leadership, action and service among young Hispanic women and men. The ELLA (Esperanza’s Latina Leadership Alliance) and ELLOS (Esperanza’s Latino Leaders for an Outstanding Society) clubs are gender-specific leadership opportunities which bring together the Latina and Latino adult leaders with Hispanic high school youth.

Esperanza’s leadership clubs provide at-risk, inner-city Hispanic youth with a positive alternative to gangs, violence, and dropping out of school. It creates a nurturing peer supported environment for Hispanics of high school age and encourages them to stay in school and develop their leadership skills.

Our purpose: Development and encouragement

By providing teenagers with leadership and educational resources, students increase knowledge and expand their awareness of the common challenges and opportunities before them.

Our format: Hands-on, real-world , and in-person

  • Both clubs meet monthly in groups of approximately 20 to discuss issues affecting their lives and learn from role models in their community.
  • A community leader volunteers as coordinator of program activities to deliver the leadership-training lesson and skill-development exercises.
  • Guest speakers are invited to present topics relevant to young Hispanics and allow for group discussion, brainstorming, and problem-solving.
  •  At the middle of the school year, participants select a leadership project they believe can impact their community. Adult mentors are selected from various professions to guide the students in their projects.
  • At the year’s end, students participate in a community project and demonstrate their leadership skills.

Our sessions and curriculum: Personal and practical

  • Gender-specific issues
  • Latino issues and how they impact the family and community
  • Understanding the principles of leadership (position, relationships, successes, and production)
  • Higher education (information, options, and procedures)
  • Building consensus and managing conflict
  • Understanding how culture impacts leadership
  • Personal health and safety

For more information, or to register, contact Melissa Myerson.

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