Latino Empowerment At De Anza is a learning community created by students, for students. It was founded in 2005 by a group of 12 students who wanted to create a student leadership development program that focused on the Latino community and culture as well as developing their leadership in the community.
2015, marks the 10 year anniversary for LEAD, and we are celebrating its diversity and growth. Today, our program has expanded, and is a model for learning on the De Anza campus.
LEAD Basics: Academics, Community and Civic Engagement
Both a program and a club
What makes LEAD different from other organizations that you’ve heard of, both on and off the De Anza campus? LEAD is both a program and a student club.
As a program, LEAD offers many classes in a variety of disciplines, and uses a unique style of learning to promote civic engagement and student success. In our classes, work in small groups called “familias” throughout the quarter. Each familia has a mentor, who serves as the liaison between the teacher and student, and makes sure that each familia member has all the support they need to succeed. In their familias, students collaborate on projects, work together to support each other in their learning, and create a strong sense of community.
The LEAD club extends this sense of community and civic engagement to students who aren’t taking a class with us at the time, but who still want to be a part of the work that LEAD does on campus and in the community.
When we first began, LEAD offered only a handful of subjects, mostly in Language Arts. Today, LEAD works with more than 1,000 students a year and we offer classes in
and Environmental Studies.
All of our classes are based strongly on the teachings of Paulo Friere, with students teaching each other, and participating in 12 hours of civic engagement and service to the community.