Community invited to discussion on inspiring hope in children - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Community invited to discussion on inspiring hope in children

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KENNEWICK, WA - Teachers, coaches and anyone in the Tri-Cities community wanting to understand the importance of instilling hope in kids are invited to a free symposium hosted by the Kennewick School District featuring a member of an inspirational high school cross country team.

Danny Diaz, who was portrayed in the Disney film McFarland USA, will speak at 6:30 p.m. on January 12 in the Kennewick High School auditorium. He will be joined by Rick Miller, founder of Kids at Hope, a national youth advocacy organization. Spanish interpretation will be provided.

Diaz was a student at a largely Latino high school in McFarland, Calif., in the 1980's and one of seven siblings who spent their lives working in the fields alongside their parents when not in school.

Diaz and several other students eventually joined a cross country team at their school started by a new coach. That team went on to win numerous state championships and a national championship while inspiring its members and helping them and their families escape poverty.

The symposium, The Soul, Science and Culture of HOPE, will explore Diaz’s journey as well as that of his entire community. It will also touch on the work being done by Kids At Hope which includes student empowerment and mentoring practices currently being used at Kennewick’s Sunset View Elementary and Park Middle School.

“We all need to ensure we’re making connections with kids and inspiring hope can do that,” says Sarah Del Toro, family and community manager in the district’s federal and state programs department.

Organizers recommend those planning to attend the symposium watch McFarland USA before the event.