Taos Youth Leadership Conference

Jami's story exemplifies how leadership development and a connection to community can make a difference in a young person's life.  Jami is a 15 year-old student who was not having success in school, and did not have a strong sense of purpose or belonging.   After being trained by the Taos RER Program in public speaking, how to read to kids, and how to facilitate group discussions, Jami proceeded to read in several elementary school classes. Jami was so excited about his experience that he decided to become a teacher and is working to graduate from high school so he can attend college.  Jami now feels that he is more connected and has hope for his future.  Jami needed encouragement, skill building, and the opportunity to practice his skills.

The Taos Reading to End Racism Program
 (Taos RER) is organizing the first ever Taos Youth Leadership Conference in Taos, New Mexico.  The Conference Opening Ceremony, with Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, Youth Director of Earth Guardians will take place on Thursday, September 22, 2016.  The Conference Workshops will take place on Saturday, September 24, 2016. 

The primary goals of the conference are to help youth develop a sense of connection and belonging, and to develop leadership skills. 

A greater sense of belonging will help to lower the abnormally high suicide rate among youth in Taos.  Recently we lost three youth to suicide within a 10 day period. 

Leadership skills will help enable youth to organize activities and events related to community gardening, anti-racism, anti-bullying, suicide prevention, how to start an environmental organization, and other actions on issues that are important to them.  The conference will include an adult workshop track  designed to help adults sharpen their leadership skills and learn how to be more effective allies for youth.

Taos has many low-income families and we don't want to charge for this conference.  We need only about $500 more in order to help pay for lunches and travel expenses for out-of-town speakers and presenters.  We need this funding by September 2nd in order to place an order for lunches and snacks for the conference participants.

The average contribution has been about $45 per person, but any contribution will be greatly appreciated. 

Thank you in advance for your generousity.
  • robin reese 
    • $40 
    • 71 mos
  • Kai Yeung 
    • $25 
    • 72 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $5 
    • 72 mos
  • Linda Hobbs 
    • $25 
    • 72 mos
  • Jose Luis Cortez 
    • $25 
    • 72 mos
See all


Daniel Escalante Taos 
Ranchos de Taos, NM