20 Under 20 is North Carolina’s only statewide network focused on elevating Latinx youth leadership across the state.
Educators and community members nominated students from all across the state to participate in this competition and this helped with the incredible turnout of applications. This year, 117 students started the application process. 70 of these students got all the way to the end and submitted their applications to us.
Our 2021 Leaders are 20 Latinx students under the age of 20 who are deeply committed to using their outstanding valor, voice, vision, and demonstrated leadership in advancing the Latinx community in North Carolina.
For three months, these 20 leaders were part of five workshops and one-on-one mentorship where they flexed their leadership and storytelling skills. Not only did they show up, but they made it a point to interact with one another, diving deep into discussions about their educational journey, their identity, their culture, and their dreams for our community and our state. They came to the collective realization that their leadership is because of who they are and what they bring to the table — that they are not only allowed to take up space in their learning environments, but that it is their right as North Carolina residents to go into these spaces and be granted the support they, their families, and our Latinx community deserve.
After all these workshops, one-on-ones, and collective deep dives, each of our 20 Under 20 Leaders prepared a very special Open Mic piece. All of them have tapped into their own journeys and what their lived experience as Latinx students and leaders has been like so far. They have put together their performances that highlight current challenges and opportunities in advancing Latinx student success in North Carolina.