A leadership academy designed to engage Latino students in leadership activities throughout the college experience in order to promote academic success, retention, and graduation.
The Freshman Leadership Organization (FLO) provides first-time freshman the opportunity to learn the basic leadership practices and how to apply them. The program is designed in a lecture/discussion format and includes engaging activities throughout the year. The program helps students take an introspective glimpse at their own abilities and guides them to build upon their strengths and weaknesses in order to be an effective student leader at the University and within their community.
Since 2009, over 250 students have completed the programs one-year commitment, outperforming many of their first-year peers when compared in persistence rate and grade point average. From the first cohort, 90% graduated on time and the persistence rate from year one to year two for each group has averaged over 95%. The cohort grew to 50 students per year in 2011 and 2012 and now stands between 25 and 30 participants. Students have taken on leadership roles throughout the University, being elected as presidents of the Student Government Association and Campus Activities Board, delegates of the Model United Nations Organization, and participants in the Harvard Kennedy School Latino Leadership Initiative, amongst other accolades. The FLO program has been presented at various national and international conferences, and participants have earned the Jefferson Award sponsored by the Laredo Morning Times, for service in 2012.
This program was formerly called Leadership and Involvement for Diversity, Engagement and Retention (LIDER).