Carlos Salinas Student Organizer

Carlos moved to Trenton from El Salvador two years ago, and immediately knew he wanted to become involved in and give back to his new community. As a student at Daylight Twilight High School, he noticed a lack of extra-curricular groups, and organized the Latino students to create a group called Latinos Global. The group serves as both a way for students to engage with each other, and to assist families. “Sometimes when Latino families come in to the school system, they don’t know what resources there are, or even things like how to register their kids,” he explains. Students get together and learn about each other and Trenton, and Carlos often interviews community members to find out more about what they do, and shares their stories. He also has organized a number of Hispanic heritage events, as well as a dance group. Between school, extra-curriculars, and part-time jobs, he even finds time to volunteer for Galeria Casa Cultura, the new Latino art gallery and music studio at 222 South Broad Street.

Carlos dreams of going to Princeton University for journalism after he graduates this year, and is taking Leadership Courses through the Latino Leadership Alliance of NJ. “But,” he says, “I need to find a scholarship first – my family cannot afford to pay for college.” So in the short term he plans to keep working and organizing. “I like Trenton,” he says. “I really like the people here. There are a lot of problems, but there is a lot of positive energy too.”

Photographed by S. Bola Okoya in Mill Hill Park.

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