How We Organize

LEON owes its success to the dedication and hard work of committee volunteers.

 Education Committee

The LEON Education Committee has four goals:

  • To advocate for the improvement of the education of Latino children,
  • To create a school culture in which Latino students can be academically and socially successful by increasing communication, opportunities, role models, programs and cultural exchange,
  • To inform the community about the educational needs of Latinos through awareness and advocacy efforts, and
  • To empower parents to become active participants in their children’s learning through educating them about their rights, responsibilities, and resources.

The LEON Education Committee meets once a month to identify critical educational needs in the Hispanic community and to share programs and activities that the members respective agencies are doing in this specific community.

The LEON Education Committee sponsors an annual Student Honors Program to recognize the accomplishments of local Latino students. Previous activities included partnering with local school ESL coordinators, participating in local and statewide panels, reports and meetings on educational issues. The Education Committee also sponsored leadership programs for ESL youth and produced a resources guide for immigrant parents.

Advocacy Committee

The LEON Advocacy Committee has three goals:

  • To advocate for the interests of the Latino community in Central Ohio by fostering strong relationships with civic and business leaders,
  • To create opportunities for members to collaborate with policy makers,
  • To inform the Latino community of issues which have an impact on their lives and futures, and
  • To empower individuals to actively engage with local leaders and make their voices known.

The Advocacy/Legal Issues Committee provides a forum to discuss and address a number of issues affecting the Latino Community in Central Ohio. Past events include an Immigration Forum for local religious and social agency leaders to strategize

Health Committee

The LEON Health Committee has four goals:

  • To advocate for the improvement of Latino health in Columbus,
  • To create a culturally competent environment in which Latino health needs are met by increasing communication, awareness and collaboration among health care and social service providers in the community,
  • To inform the community about the health needs of Latinos through awareness and advocacy efforts, and
  • To empower Latinos to become active participants in their own health care by providing them with educational and resource materials.

Past Projects Include:

¡Abrete Sésamo! (Open Sesame!) – Thanks to funding from the Columbus Medical Association Foundation, the LEON Health Committee launched ¡Abrete Sésamo! in 2005. This project provides workshops in the community to help limited English speaking Latinos learn how to use and access local health care services. Other project partners include OSU Medical CenterColumbus Public Health, Children’s Hospital, and OhioHealth.

Health Symposium – “Reaching the Latino Community: Opportunities, Challenges and Experiences,” at Columbus Public Health drew more than 100 health and social services professionals committed to serving the Latino community. The symposium was the first one held by the LEON Health Committee. Sponsors included the Central Ohio Diabetes Association and Columbus Public Health.

Directorio de Salud/Health Directory – With sponsorship from OhioHealth, the committee published its 2007-08 bilingual Directorio de Salud/Health Directory, which lists health care services, including mental health services, in Columbus.