GALEO Institute for Leadership Graduated 23 New Leaders from Georgia State University

GALEO Institute for Leadership Graduated 23 New Leaders from Georgia State University

(Atlanta, GA): April 21st, 2017 –  GALEO graduated 23 new leaders from the GALEO Institute for Leadership at Georgia State University (GSU), in partnership with their Goizueta Scholarship program managed under GSU’s Latino Student Services & Outreach, which held a graduation reception on Friday, April 21 at the university campus.

This is the 17th group of graduates resulting from GALEO’s leadership development efforts. The total number of GALEO Institute for Leadership alumni now stands at 558 people from across the state.

GALEO Institute for Leadership graduates heard inspiring words from Beyond 12 College Coach Leri Argueta and GALEO Executive Director Jerry Gonzalez. Leri Argueta shared a touching personal narrative on his journey to college and into the professional world of mentorship. GSU GIL participants were impacted by the obstacles Leri overcame in his journey. Jerry Gonzalez followed the keynote speech with a motivational discussion on overcoming obstacles that seem imminent. He encouraged the class to seek their own professional development throughout their remaining college experience while also relying on the group to work together in their community.

The graduation follows a serious commitment throughout the school year that develops basic leadership skills while also exposing the participants to other community leaders and potential opportunities for continued leadership development.  The participants were exposed to the following community leaders:

  • Amilcar Valencia, El Refugio
  • Beverly Iseghohi, BMI & Associates
  • Brian Nunez, GALEO
  • Christian Bello Escobar, UNG Director of Migrant Services
  • Cristian Ramos, UNG Newnan Civic Fellow
  • Cassandra Johnson, CC ALB
  • Estela Martinez, GALEO Leadership Council
  • Genny Castillo, Georgia House Democratic Caucus
  • Harvey Soto, GALEO
  • Jaime Rangel, GALEO Leadership Council
  • Jerry Gonzalez, GALEO
  • Katherine Vega, Project Manager for Global Payments, Inc.
  • Kelli Persons, League of Women Voters
  • Maria Palacios, GALEO
  • Marilyn McGinnis, El Refugio
  • Samuel Aguilar,

The GALEO Latino Community Development Fund has implemented the GALEO Institute for Leadership to focus upon the leadership development of the Latino community across our state. As part of the GALEO Institute for Leadership, GALEO formed a strategic partnership with the University of Georgia’s Fanning Institute to expand and develop our joint efforts for the Community Leadership Program.

The graduates dedicated more than 89 hours during 2016-2017 to complete eight modules, additional presentations and a group project. In addition, this GALEO Institute for Leadership Class of 2017 represented a diverse class with participants from various countries including the following:

  • United States
  • Brazil
  • Colombia
  • Cuba
  • Dominican Republic
  • El Salvador
  • Mexico
  • Panama
  • Puerto Rico
  • Venezuela

The graduates represented the following counties of our state:

  • Barrow
  • Clayton
  • Cobb
  • Coweta
  • Dekalb
  • Douglas
  • Forsyth
  • Fulton
  • Gwinnett
  • Hall

The graduates were also encouraged to engage with the GALEO Leadership Council (GLC), which is made up of alumni from previous GIL sessions, as well as active GALEO Members.  Several of the graduates are already serving leadership roles within the GLC and plan to contribute to significant plans in place for 2017.

This leadership program was made possible in part by the Sapelo Foundation, University of Georgia-Fanning Institute, Georgia Power, State Farm Insurance Company, GALEO and individual donors.

For other questions regarding the upcoming GALEO Institute for Leadership, contact Maria del Rosario Palacios at 404.745.2546 or Pictures of the graduation are available upon request and are posted on

Sponsorship opportunities for the 2017 sessions are available to invest in Georgia’s future leaders.  Please contact Jerry Gonzalez, Executive Director, GALEO, at or 404.745.2580.


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