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Boston College School of Social Work
From the Blog:
Image of Rocío Calvo and Yolanda Padilla

LLI Highlighted by CSWE

Yolanda Padilla, Director of the Center for Diversity and Social & Economic Justice at CSWE and Professor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work, was on campus to meet with Associate Professor Rocío Calvo, and members of the LLI. Padilla highlighted the LLI as a model program for diversity education.  Read more on the Blog »

LLI Program Overview

Associate Professor Rocio Calvo, Boston College Graduate School of Social Work

Associate Professor
Rocio Calvo

Explains how the Latino Leadership Initiative bolsters students' linguistic and cultural competencies to work with Latino communities.
English »          Spanish »

LLI: Student Voices

Students talk about the Latino Leadership Initiative's value for them in understanding the cultural issues around working with Latino populations.

Luis Balcazar

Luis Balcazar
Luis (English) »          
Luis (Spanish) »


Victoria Pineiro

Victoria Pineiro
Victoria (English) »          
Victoria (Spanish) »


Patrick Donovan

Patrick Donovan
Patrick (English) »
Patrick (Spanish) »


Claire Madden

Claire Madden
Claire (English) »
Claire (Spanish) »


Erin Ramsey

Erin Ramsey
Erin (English) »
Erin (Spanish) »


Jessica Goldhirsch

Jessica Goldhirsch
Jessica (English) »
Jessica (Spanish) »


Latino Leadership Initiative

Calvo Wins Spencer Grant in Education Research

LLI Cohort

Associate Professor Rocío Calvo has secured a two-year grant worth nearly $50,000 to study BCSSW’s pioneering Latino Leadership Initiative (LLI), of which Calvo is founder and director.

Read more about the Spencer Grant and the LLI on the blog »


Initiative Description

By mid-century, the majority of the US population will be made up of minorities, predominantly Latinos. To better prepare students to work with this diverse population, Boston College School of Social Work established a Latino Leadership Initiative within the MSW program.

The LLI bolsters students' linguistic and cultural competencies to work with Latino communities in the U.S. and abroad. A set of foundation and method courses will be taught in Spanish.

Associate Professor Rocío Calvo

Associate Professor Rocío Calvo, a native of Spain who worked in Latin America prior to joining Boston College School of Social Work, believes that adding a second language to the portfolio of graduating students deepens empathy and expands imagination, both core principles of a Jesuit education.

Calvo's research is on the incorporation of immigrants, and she is particularly interested in the determinants that make Latino immigrants successful in recipient societies.

"Social workers who are able to relate to clients and to work with clients in Spanish without the need of translators, who understand not only the language but the culture and the cultural components, are at a great advantage in serving and relating to this population," says Calvo.

In Fall 2012, Calvo taught the "Diversity and Cross Cultural Issues" course, one of the first of five LLI courses now offered in Spanish.

Student Testimonials

Students from the first cohort in the Latino Leadership Initiative came together to talk about the value this initiative will have for them as social workers in understanding the cultural issues around working with Latino populations. Watch the "Student Voices" video testimonials »

On the Blog

LLI Highlighted as a ‘Model Program’ by the CSWE »
Read about the LLI in the Boston College Chronicle »
Read the article in BC Social Work Magazine »
Read about the launch of the initiative »
Latino Leadership Initiative Graduates Inaugural Cohort »