Home >> Community Outreach >> Hispanic Youth Symposium

Hispanic Youth Symposium

The Program

The symposium brings together around 300 Hispanic high school students from throughout Idaho to listen to motivational speakers and to participate in interactive workshops designed to enhance self-esteem, leadership and problem-solving skills, as well as to examine possible career paths for the future. The students compete in speech, talent, art, athletic and interactive skill contests for awards and scholarships.

Students experience various opportunities that will enable them to overcome both real and perceived barriers to attain a higher education.  The students participate in education, college and career workshops, connect with local Hispanic professionals, meet college admissions officers, interact with near-peer mentors, listen to inspirational speakers, and compete for scholarships.  Throughout the symposium students will build confidence and receive practical tools to help them on the path to a degree.

Our Mission

Provide tools, skills and opportunities for Idaho’s Latino high school students to overcome educational and career barriers in their efforts to become outstanding professionals and community leaders.


Primary goals:

To educate, motivate and enable underserved students to obtain higher education

To leverage and empower Hispanic talent to play a leadership role

To engage families, educators and employers to support underserved students to acquire higher education

To inspire our community through recognition of the achievements of Idaho          Hispanic youth


Our History

The symposium grew out of a 1988 brainstorming session centered on ways to curb the alarming 60 percent dropout rate for Latino teens in Idaho. In 1990, about 100 students attended the first Hispanic Youth Symposium. Now as an annual event, HYS hosts around 300 Idaho high school students for a three-day program in Sun Valley, Idaho. Over the years, the dropout rate has significantly improved, but it remains the highest of any ethnic group in the state.

HYS is a collaborative effort between public employers, federal management contractors, private industry, state and private educational institutions, and Hispanic organizations from throughout Idaho. Operational expenses for the symposium are approved by the U.S. Department of Energy - Idaho Operations Office as part of its annual budget allocation of the Idaho National Laboratory.


The symposium has received national recognition from Fortune 500 corporations and has been replicated in youth initiatives across the country. This symposium has been recognized by the governor as exemplary in helping Idaho's families and children.


23rd Hispanic Youth Symposium

WHEN: April 27-29, 20012

WHERE: Sun Valley, Idaho

2012 HYS Registration

If you're interested in participating/volunteering or presenting at the 2011 Idaho Hispanic Youth Symposium, please contact HYS program Director:

Danielle Collins, (208) 526-1727, Send E-mail

HYS Sponsors
Link to HYS Sponsors page

A big thank you to the following contractors, state and federal agencies, private businesses, and individual contributors without whose help this symposium would not take place.

HYS Contacts
Link to HYS Contacts page

View the list of contacts.

Department of energy

DOE Office of Nuclear Energy
DOE-Idaho Office