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Judge Andrew Valdez to Youth: You Don’t Have to Make It Alone – 28 Oct. 2013

Judge Andrew Valdez to Youth: You Don’t Have to Make It Alone

 Title:     Multicultural Youth Leadership Summit

When:  Wednesday, Oct. 30, 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Where: Weber State University, Shepherd Union Building (3848 Harrison Boulevard
Ogden, UT)

SALT LAKE CITY — As a juvenile judge in the 3rd Judicial District for the last 20 years, Judge Andrew Valdez has dedicated a great part of his professional life to understanding and helping Utah’s youth.

This Wednesday, Judge Valdez will stand before 1,000 multicultural students, and their educators, to share his personal story. Valdez’s story of starting out as a struggling Westside Latino paperboy and working his way up to become one of Utah’s most respected judges has inspired thousands.

But he didn’t do it alone. Valdez said he was helped by a local businessman who mentored and encouraged him to see the value of education, honor and possibility. Many years later, as a successful attorney, Valdez would return the favor. In a twist of fate, he would find his mentor homeless and suffering on the street. Valdez saw to it his mentor was cared for until he passed away.

“We are so fortunate to have Judge Valdez speak to these youth,” said Office of Multicultural Affairs Director Claudia Nakano. “His story and his connection with young people are remarkable.”

Governor Gary R. Herbert will address students via video message. Utah’s new Lt. Governor Spencer J. Cox and newly-inaugurated WSU President Charles Wight will also address students. In addition, the youth engagement team CoolSpeak ( will provide a lunchtime address and morning breakout sessions.

This year’s Multicultural Youth Leadership Summit “Preparing for the Real World” is a collaboration between the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Department of Heritage & Arts, and Weber State University. The Summit is held in support of Governor Herbert’s “66 by 2020” initiative to have 66 percent of Utahns to hold a post-secondary degree or certificate by the year 2020.

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