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Inspiring Dreams: Youth2Leaders hosting conference to help parents inspire students after high school

The Bridging Voices Conference is for parents enrolled in the Kern High School District English Language Development program, and it's happening on May 18 and June 1
Posted at 5:12 AM, May 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-14 13:25:56-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The first Bridging Voices Conference is designed for parents whose primary language is not English, and it helps them become active participants in their child's education goals.

  • Video shows Youth2Leaders discussing the importance of helping break the language barrier for parents hoping to inspire their children's plans after high school.
  • The Bridging Voices Conference teaches parents who are enrolled in the English Language Development Program how to navigate seeking and applying for higher education.
  • The goal? Encourage parents to be active participants in their child's education, and to give them the tools to help inspire the students to achieve their goals.


The Youth2Leaders Education Foundation and Kern High School District are partnering together to help close the language barrier for parents helping their students seek higher education.

"Sometimes, all it takes is an opportunity," Paola Caballero said.

Growing up in a migrant family, Caballero says the skills she learned from Youth2Leaders empowered her to pursue a degree in psychology at CSUB.

“They’ll give you the resources, but the challenging part is up to you,” Caballero said.

Preparing and encouraging students to seek higher education is at the core of Y2L’s mission. Now, those resources are being offered to the student’s parents.

“This is a conference to help parents overcome the different obstacles they have to overcome especially with English being a secondary language,” Gabriel Adame said.

Adame, Y2L's executive director, says in partnership with Kern High School District, they’re hosting a two-day conference–called “Bridging Voices” for parents enrolled in KHSD’s English Language Development (ELD) Program.

“Having a language barrier can be hard, but having this program may help the parents get out in the community,” Caballero said.

The conference will teach parents how to navigate the sometimes complex world of education. It features keynote speakers and workshops over two days.

“So they feel more comfortable helping the students fulfill their dreams,” Adame said.

Organizers say the conference, which is the first of its kind, also aims to boost parental participation in their student’s education to set them up for success.

“Had I had that opportunity and my Mom had had that opportunity as well, being able to learn what’s being offered now, things may have been different,” Caballero said.

Learning these skills, including how to receive financial aid and apply for scholarship opportunities, could inspire new ventures for the parents, too.

“You’re never too old or young to keep learning," Adame said. "If they see their student go through higher education, they might go into higher education as well.”

The conference is open to parents who are enrolled in KHSD's English Language Development course, but Y2L says they hope to expand opportunities in the future. Bridging Voices takes place on May 18 and June 1. More information can be found here.

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