JANUARY 21, 2014
The Boston College Graduate School of Social Work’s Latino Leadership Initiative (LLI) is grabbing attention not just within the graduate school, but also within the broader Boston College community. The program has been highlighted in the Boston College undergraduate student newspaper The Heights and the Boston College Chronicle, reaching a diverse audience and potentially attracting future LLI leaders.
Assistant Professor Rocio Calvo leads the Latino Leadership Initiative and teaches courses in both English and Spanish. “Research shows that Latinos do not have the best experiences dealing with social services,” Calvo said to The Heights. “The LLI prepares future social workers to become aware of this reality and provides them with specific tools to ensure that they empower their clients.”
The Latino Leadership Initiative began last fall with the intention of training a new cohort of social workers to work with Latino populations both in the U.S. and abroad. In the context of an increasingly diverse U.S. population, in which minorities will comprise over 50% of the U.S. population within a few decades, it is essential for practitioners to gain the cultural and linguistic competencies to work with a growing Latino population.
Calvo, a native of Spain, has prior experience working in Latin America and conducting research on immigrant integration. She notes that the LLI has attracted an increasing number of Latino students as well as students who have and who intend to work with Latino populations. The growing awareness of this dynamic program among the greater Boston College community is generating new interest and will help to recruit future generations of social work leaders.