NC SLI, a project of the Center for Global Initiatives at UNC, seeks to create pathways to educational, professional, and civic engagement opportunities for the next generation of Latino leaders in North Carolina.
In high school, rising sophomores are selected as SLI Scholars. Beginning their sophomore year, Scholars begin a structured 3-year program that includes the following:
Gemma is extensively engaged in extra-curricular activities while also excelling in Advanced Placement courses. She credits SLI with helping her become aware of what to expect from college. She realizes that pursuing a nursing career will be difficult and she needs to be prepared for difficult work. Reflecting on what she has learned from SLI, Gemma writes "SLI has taught me how to write more properly in essays and to speak to an open public. It has taught me to strive for what I want in life and that no matter what anybody says...one can accomplish their dreams if one sets their mind to it. SLI has helped me grow to become a better person and to become more prepared for what might come next. Without SLI, I would not have pushed myself the way I do now to reach for the best."
Judith has excelled in her high school academic career, including top grades in several AP classes. Participation in SLI has given Judith the opportunity to attend college and pursue her dream of becoming a pediatrician. Judith writes, "SLI is the chance to be successful despite the various obstacles that I have to confront, like being an undocumented student and not having enough resources to go to college. The organization has provided for me an amazingly helpful mentor and a clearer look at the opportunities that I have available. Thanks to this organization, I now know that I can overcome the barriers that keep me from becoming the person that I desire to be."