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El Instituto GALEO de Liderazgo graduó el sábado a nuevos líderes


Jerry Gonzalez, GALEO, jerry@galeo.org, 678.691.1086, for media inquiries.

Jennifer Zenteno, GALEO, jennifer@galeo.org, 770.674.0551, for program inquires.

(Norcross, Georgia) – November 11, 2019 – GALEO graduated 19 new leaders from the GALEO Institute for Leadership (GIL), which held a graduation luncheon on Saturday, November 9, 2019 at McGuirewoods LLP.

This is the 21st group of graduates resulting from GALEO’s leadership development efforts. The total number of GALEO Institute for Leadership alumni now stands at 678 people from across the state.

GALEO Institute for Leadership graduates heard inspiring words from Jerry Gonzalez, GALEO Executive Director; Art Gambill, GALEO Board of Directions Vice Chair; two graduates-Manuel Hernandez and Angelica Cruces; and, Elisa Lara, Lakeside Chapter President, Hispanic Organization Promoting Education (HoPe).

Jerry Gonzalez spoke on the need for leadership development and rising leaders to continue work in community betterment. He highlighted GIL alumni who have gone on to serve in public office, non-profits, and various professions across the state as a reminder that we all play a key role in forging the future of our Latinx community.

Art Gambill took us back in time to his first connection with GALEO and his continued commitment to GALEO’s growth and evolution through it’s contributions of leadership development for the Latinx community.

Elisa Lara’s graduation speech inspired the guests to be active in helping shape the future of our state for generations to come. She reminded the 2019 graduating cohort that we all share commonalities as immigrants no matter our age or background. Elisa Lara is currently a High School student at Lakeside High School and serves as HoPe’s Chapter President, where she has contributed to the growth of chapter members to over 100 students.

In addition, we also heard from 2019 GIL graduates, Manuel Hernandez and Angelica Cruces. Manuel shared his desire to implement the skills he’s acquired to rural parts of Georgia like his hometown, Dalton. Angelica Cruces reminded us that despite educational backgrounds, we are leaders and have the responsibility to support our community.

The graduation ceremony ended with all four speakers urging the graduates to continue their leadership development and to get more involved in their communities through service leadership.

The graduation follows a serious commitment to a year-round program 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
  • Anthony Pacheco, Asian Americans Advancing Justice
  • Beverly Iseghohi, BMI & Associates
  • Christian Bello Escobar, UNG Director of Migrant Services
  • Cassandra Johnson, CC ALB
  • Chris Bruce Esq., ACLU of GA
  • Diana Vela, Hispanic Organization Promoting Education – Director of Leadership Chapters
  • Dustin Baxter Esq., Kuck Baxter Immigration
  • Gabriela Esperanza, Empreza Tax – Middle Georgia Small Business Owner
  • Genny Castillo, Blue Institute
  • Gigi Pedraza, Executive Director Latino Community Development Fund Georgia
  • Harvey Soto, Policy Analyst, GALEO
  • Hector Montalvo, U.S. Census Bureau
  • Jaime Rangel, FWD.us – Georgia Immigration Associate
  • Juliana Henao, GALEO Leadership Council
  • Jerry Gonzalez, Executive Director of GALEO
  • Karin Sandiford, Google
  • Katherine Vega, Project Manager for Global Payments, Inc.
  • Kelli Persons, League of Women Voters
  • Leri Argueta, UNG Assistant Director for Enrollment Diversity
  • Marco Palma, Los Vecinos de Buford HWY – President
  • Maria Palacios, Georgia Shift – Deputy Director
  • Marisol Estrada, Kuck Baxter Immigration
  • Mia Arreguin, Digital Director
  • Pedro Viloria, GALEO
  • Rebecca Pool, GALEO Leadership Council
  • Samantha Ramirez Herrera – Offtharecord – CEO& Founder
  • Samuel Aguilar, FWD.us – State Director
  • Shannon Clawson, Georgia Equality
  • Sofia Bork, SunTrust Bank
  • Xeyli Alfaro, Univision – Journalist

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 2019 to complete eight modules, additional presentations and a community group project. In addition, this GALEO Institute for Leadership Class of 2019 represented a diverse class with participants from various counties in Georgia:

  • Cherokee
  • Cobb
  • Dekalb
  • Fulton
  • Gwinnett
  • Hall
  • Houston
  • Whitfield

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 2020.

This leadership program was made possible in part by the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, the Sapelo Foundation, University of Georgia-Fanning Institute, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, State Farm Insurance Company, GALEO and individual donors.

Recruiting has already begun for the GALEO Institute for Leadership class of 2020.   For information on the 2020 sessions and the application process, please visit https://galeo.org/leadership/gil/.

For other questions regarding the upcoming GALEO Institute for Leadership, contact Jennifer Zenteno Pearce at 678.984.6591 or jennifer@galeo.org.

Pictures of the graduation are available upon request and are posted on GALEO’s Facebook page.


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