Hispanic Youth Organization empowers students to be involved in their communities

The Hispanic Youth Organization (HYO) is an after-school organization that is focused on engaging Hispanic students at district high schools. Currently active at Garland and North Garland high schools, the club focuses on Hispanic student involvement in school activities and the community. HYO also aims to give them a sense of belonging.

HYO members contribute to the community by volunteering their time to local foundations, participating in school events and partnering with nonprofit organizations.

“We are a dedicated club and family that works toward creating a positive environment in our communities with strong pride for our roots and culture,” said Erika Ortega, Spanish teacher and HYO sponsor at North Garland High School.

While HYO was founded on bridging the gap with Hispanic students, membership is not Hispanic-exclusive.

“Everyone is welcomed to join, regardless of your endorsement, grade point average, race or ethnicity,” Ortega continued.

Since 2017, the NGHS HYO has volunteered with:

  • Feed My Starving Children
  • Dallas Zoo
  • The Color Run
  • The Hot Chocolate Run
  • Tri-City Lakeshore Cleanup-Keep Texas Waterways Clean
  • The City of Garland
  • Garland Association of Latino Administrators

The Hispanic Youth Senior Scholarship was also developed and is awarded to Raiders devoted to community service and uplifting the Hispanic youth. This year marked the third year for the scholarship, and there are plans to make it a yearly occurrence. 

The district hopes to initiate HYO chapters at all district high schools. Students interested in starting an HYO at their campus should contact their principal for details.