El Paso Leadership Network aims to help El Paso high school students get ahead

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El Paso Leadership Network (EPLN) is a new organization in town that strives to foster the growth of the city’s talent and leadership through academic and professional development.

Anahy Diaz, Copy Editor

El Paso Leadership Network (EPLN) is a new organization in town that strives to foster the growth of the city’s talent and leadership through academic and professional development.  

EPLN is a registered non-profit organization composed of individuals who want to give back to the El Paso community by providing academic programs, mentorship, networking and other opportunities for students and professionals. 

 “We aspire to influence our community’s education, economy, government and culture by building an extensive network of extraordinary El Pasoans committed to aiding one another to thrive in scholastic and professional pursuits,” said Miguel Moya, co-founder and president of EPLN.  

Moya, along with El Paso natives, Ricardo Flores, Eric Diaz and Guillermo Santos, founded EPLN in the spring 2019 with the aspiration to serve the El Paso community through an idea they could act upon.   

“As a community-based organization whose members are all El Pasoans, we are committed to realizing the potential of our region,” said Moya, who is a senior at Columbia University majoring in philosophy. “Members of EPLN share a common characteristic, and that is a desire to give back to the city that has given them the opportunities to grow and succeed. We want to use our experience and education to be part of the growth of El Paso in the years to come.”  

The organization’s foundation lies in their Scholars Program, which is dedicated to mentoring high school students during the college and scholarship application process. The program consists of a twoyear curriculum where students, who are accepted as juniors in high school, are granted access to webinars designed to help with financial aid applications, resume building, SAT and ACT preparation, essay writing and other career and academic opportunities.   

Students are paired with a college student who acts as a mentor throughout their high school-to-college transition. Mentor applications are open to El Paso natives that have attended or are currently attending a fouryear university and are willing to provide guidance to a high school student. Mentee applications are open to El Paso high school juniors with a 3.0 and above GPA and express motivation, ambition, and dedication for their education.   

“As a mentor, you tap into a network of young academics and professionals from El Paso who can help you continue to grow,” Moya said. “Becoming a mentee is an unparalleled opportunity to be guided step by step on the journey to go to college, gain insight into potential career options, and meet others who are on the same trajectory.”  

EPLN is  recruiting mentors and mentees for its 2020-2022 EPLN Scholars Cohort on its website elpasoln.org. Moya says there are other opportunities in which people can engage with the network aside from its mentorship program, this includes attending its upcoming virtual ‘Education Summit’ on Aug. 29 and 30, 2020.  

“Our hope for this organization is to give people in our area the platform to help one another succeed,” Moya said. “El Paso is already working towards a better future for its people, and it is essential for us to enhance that work by leveraging our networks to create a positive impact in our community one step at a time.”  

For more information and to stay up to date on all the opportunities offered by El Paso Leadership Network, visit its website at elpasoln.org or its Facebook (@EPLNetwork) and Instagram (@eplnetwork) pages.   

Anahy Diaz may be reached at [email protected]