Volume 26, No. 3: Revving Up for the 2016 Conference in Indy!

Celebrated Veteran Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch Inspires Young People and Adults

Through hard work and determination, she beat the odds.

The keynote at this year's closing general session (Friday, Oct 7, 2:45–3:45) will be Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch, a passionate and charismatic speaker who knows first-hand what it takes to overcome the challenges of poverty, illiteracy, and discrimination. Born and raised in a small barrio in Laredo, Texas, Consuelo went on to become the highest-ranking Hispanic woman in the Combat Support Field of the U.S. Army.

From her immigrant parents, Consuelo learned about tradition, culture, and faith—values that served her well during her years of military service. After graduating from Hardin Simmons University, she entered the U.S. Army, serving as an officer for two decades. Given the opportunity to serve in a command post, Consuelo declined, opting to honor her mother's wish that she become a community leader. She retired from the military in 1996 and has since dedicated her time to leading Educational Achievement Services, Inc., the organization she founded in 1994.

Consuelo has worked with over a million children in some of the nation's most troubled neighborhoods. She strives to instill in young people of all backgrounds the confidence that their dreams can come true and that, through discipline and hard work, they can take make a difference in their families and communities. In 1998, she founded the Family Leadership Institute (FLI), an educational program designed to help first- and second-generation children of immigrant and migrant Hispanic families succeed in school and in life. Her book, titled Journey to the Future: A Roadmap for Success for Youth, shows young people how to develop self-esteem, achieve goals, and become leaders in their schools and communities.

Among Consuelo's many awards and citations are the Legion of Merit, the National Defense Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (four times), the Toastmaster's Leadership Award, and the National Mujer Award (bestowed by the National Hispana Leadership Institute). She has been featured by National Public Radio, O Magazine, and the television program Hispanics Today, and was one of Hispanic Business magazine's "100 Most Influential Hispanics in America."

For more information on the NCPN conference, visit www.ncpn.info.