Celebrating Hispanic Heritage

Axis program grooms Latino professionals for leadership roles

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — More than 70 young Latinos have now gone through the city’s Axis Leadership Program.

The program launched in 2018 to help share the future of leadership in Indiana.

City officials want more Latinos taking on leadership roles in Indianapolis. To help bring change, the city government and the Indiana Latino Expo soon will welcome their newest participants for this year’s Axis Leadership Program.

“It’s a very important program just to help them continue developing professionally and increasing representation across the city,” said Ruth Morales, Indianapolis director of the office of international and Latino affairs.

The eight-month program lets Latino professionals ages 21-28 to meet with other professionals who can help the program participants reach their goals. The young Latinos also will be prepared to be engaged with civic and community leadership activities.

“Planning your career path, what’s that next step, and also helping them connect that with their mentor, and their mentor will help them, guide them more. We talk about financial literacy,” Morales said.

Luisa Macer, Indianapolis Motor Speedway community outreach and fan engagement manager, says the Axis program helped her develop the confidence she needed to land her dream job and help make a positive impact on the community. “It boosted my confidence to know that I can apply for any position that no matter whether I have, whether it’s an entry-level position or it’s a higher-level position, I really am equipped to take on new challenges,” Macer said.

Macer moved from Mexico to the United States with her family when she was 5 years old in search of a better life. She says part of that big push to go to college and have a successful career was because of the sacrifices her parents made. “Every day since we flew from Mexico, I never take a day for granted because this is truly such a blessing to be in a country where your voices are heard,” Macer said.

Overall, Morales says, this program is a chance to make a difference in the community. “Lifting each other and opening the door for one another that’s the whole purpose of the program.”

The city government is accepting applications for Axis 2022 by Oct. 1.