Hispanic Youth Leadership Academy in the NCJ! | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
July 2014

Hispanic Youth Leadership Academy in the NCJ!

By Carl Gladstone (NCJ & NEJ)

On June 25-28, 2014 students, staff and leaders from the Hispanic Youth Leadership Academy gathered at Adrian College in Michigan for the first Michigan and North Central Jurisdictional area retreat of this leadership development program for Hispanic/Latino youth in the United Methodist Church.

The 16 HYLA youth hailed from West Ohio, West Michigan, Detroit, and Rio Texas conferences. During their time in Adrian they learned about the United Methodist Connection and how to offer leadership within its structures. They worshipped together and explored the pressing issues facing Hispanic/Latino youth. The youth were also addressed by Bishop Deborah Kiesey along with District Superintendants from both the West Michigan and Detroit Conferences.

"We have a lot to learn from our youth." Bishop Deb said to the group. "In the Dakotas I was blessed to have young adult mentors - young people I was able to sit down with and ask what we need as the church to succeed in ministry today. Young people are leading the church now and I encourage you in that leadership!"

Rev. Mark Spaw and Rev. William Haggard both shared stories of how they emerged from adolescence and took advantage of life changing moments to become the church leaders and district superintendents they are today.

Coordinating the event were area leaders Jennifer Jue and Paula Timm, with Director Cristian de la Rosa and HYLA staff and key volunteers.

These academies, gathered around specific affinities within the church, explore Connection-wide leadership and discipleship strategies and are a blessing to the youth and young people who participate. To find out about HYLA and their other Academy locations please visit hylaumc.com.