Yuri de Leon, 20 Latinitas Under 20

Name: Yuri de Leon

Hometown: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Age: 19

Volunteer Experience

Yuri is a young lady that is definitely a leader. Even thou she has two jobs; she finds time to help her community. Yuri helps elementary kids do their homework; due that their parents don’t know English. When ever someone needs to go to the doctor, job interview, etc… and they need a translator she always go. Yuri loves to do this for other people because English is her second language, and there was one time in her life someone else translated for her. She not only does this but also helps other when they are in need. She recently just helped do a fun raiser for Ericka Ramirez, a little girl that needs a kidney transplant. She said that her motivations are her siblings. She is the oldest out of three and she feels that she has the responsibility of being a role model for her brother and sister.

What challenges has she overcome?

Yuri came to Oklahoma when she was ten years old; running away with her family from the delinquency Guatemala is going though. She found her self in a whole different world; where she didn’t know the language, culture or friends. The first three months in school were the hardest for her, but she didn’t give up. A year later she basically had the language nominated. That was not it thou, the next three years were middle school and as we all know there is peer pressure; but again she continued and did a great job and graduated with one of the highest GPAs. Doing all her three years of middle school she walked 20 blocks from school to her house every single day, no matter if it was 100 degrees out side or raining, snowing, etc… This was because her dad worked all day and he could only drop her off at school but couldn’t pick her up and she had no ride home; but this was not a problem for her. She also went to Metro Technology Center and try to get a diploma for nurse assistant but due that she’s illegal they dined it to her. Even thou this happened she wants to enroll in college next year.

What makes her a leader?

During high school Yuri was a member of Student Council and was also the treasure. Holly Angels Catholic Church needed a new member for the Parish Council and the first one to be nominated was Yuri. She is now Vice-president of the Parish Council. This past august there was pageant for Miss Guatemala Oklahoma 2012-2013 and Yuri showing her leadership won the pageant.. Though out this year she has a lot of plans; she is now planning to do a fun raiser to take presents to children in the hospital on Christmas day. Yuri always says, “You only lose when you don’t try.”

What extra-curricular activities is she involved in?

Yuri loves to dance and one of her hobbies is teaching choreographies to girls that are celebrating their sweet fifteen. She is currently not in school right now due that she is illegal in this country; but she is planning to enroll in college next year. This young lady has Two jobs, one in the morning one at night, and still finds time to help kids, her community, church and teen girls plan their party. She is definitely a busy girl that never stops.

How is she a good example and positive role model to other girls?

Definition of Yuri- Young lady who yearns for knowledge; Untouchable; Rare and Intelligent. Someone who uses her time to help others and learn at the same time. She is an example not just for young ladies but for women in general that when ever you set your self a goal you can reach it no matter how old you are, or how many obstacles you find in you way.

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