Hispanic Leadership Opportunity Program (HLOP)
The Hispanic Leadership Opportunity Program (HLOP) is focused on cultivating and inspiring future Latino leaders. HLOP brings students together with local business, political, and organizational leaders to discuss challenges facing their community. Participants observe, analyze, and become directly involved with social, economic, and political issues and the leaders who deal with those issues.
The program helps students become part of the decision-making culture with an active role in the shaping of their community. Students gain a greater awareness of their own decision-making process and with it a respect for the unique world-view of others. Through hands-on interaction and an emphasis on the value and role of leadership in addressing the needs of Hispanic Americans, participants are challenged to become successful in their chosen profession, while becoming change agents for their chosen values.
Designed as a leadership development program for up to 30 Hispanic high school students per site, the HLOP is an 18-week hands-on leadership program delivered to 9th through 12th grade high school students to prepare them for life after high school. The participants meet once a week after school for 1 hour at their school.
Students are given time to reflect and analyze the leadership styles they experience and are put through a leadership curriculum that develops valuable skills, including time management and critical thinking. With the help of local community leaders, participants become actively involved in a community-based leadership project that has a direct impact on policy issues within their community.
LNESC Kansas City has implemented the HLOP program for over 14 years. During that time, 80% of the participants have completed a 4-year degree by the age of 26. Several of the aforementioned have also completed advanced degrees such as a Master's degree or Juris Doctorate, prior to reaching the age of 26. Post-program evaluations indicate that 90% of the program participants believe that: 1) establishing a network in high school, and 2) learning about new career opportunities via guest speakers who resemble them are the most important take-aways from the program.
“HLOP helped me make life-long connections with my peers. HLOP also gave the support throughout high school to navigate through a rigorous senior year.”
-Juan, former HLOP participant, science teacher at Kansas City Kansas Magnet School
"LNESC KC helped me achieve my educational and professional goals of earning both a bachelor's and master's degree and becoming a teacher."
-Ms. Perez, former HLOP participant
“You left a footprint in my life that I will always be grateful for. We need more people like you in this work to help us remember that no matter how low, poor or whatever our GPA is, we can all be someone in life and it will never be too late….thank you for caring and believing in me.”
-Yazmin, former HLOP participant