This education post is dedicated to all that support helping Latinos complete higher education. It is also dedicated to my dear friend Elianne Ramos, who is the Vice-Chair, Communications PR for LATISM, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the social, economic, and civic status of the Latino community.
According to the 2010 Census, the Latino or Hispanic population has grown substantially, from 35.3 million to 50.5 million from the years 2000 to 2010, making them the largest growing ethnic group in the U.S. However, the percentage of Latinos graduating from college is small. According to a report by the College Board Advocacy and Policy Center, in Miami, 19.2 percent of Latinos between 25-34 years of age had a university degree in 2009. It is imperative for the nation’s competitiveness to have an educated workforce. Today’s jobs demand more high level skills, which require having more education beyond high school.
Education has been a key topic of discussion on many of our Twitter LATISM chats every Thursday. Earlier this year, I also had the opportunity to participate in an Education session with Juan Sepulveda, Executive Director for the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, at the LATISM conference in Silicon Valley. Our discussions revolved on the challenges Latino students face in pursuing a higher education, plus ideas to increase the number of Latinos students to further their education. Some of the challenges discussed are the lack of guidance to the college process and financial obstacles. In addition, some of the solutions that were shared for increasing the number of Latinos completing a higher education were being a mentor in your community, getting parents involved, and participation from government and businesses.
Another organization with an active participation on this issue is Univision. Univision has been heavily promoting an education campaign this week to motivate and inspire Latinos to focus on their education. It is important to mention their valuable education resource page located at http://vidayfamilia.univision.com/es-el-momento/. This excellent site has information on colleges, financial aid, inspiring stories from Latinos and more. Furthermore, Univision is committed on awarding $300,000 in scholarships to Latino students pursuing a higher education.
We can all make a positive difference to motivate and inspire Latinos to pursue a higher education. For example, we can volunteer our time to education and literacy causes in our community.
From my own experience, completing a higher education instills confidence and opens doors for new opportunities. Learning never stops. I continue to take classes in my field of interest, read books, attend conferences, and network with other like minded individuals. Education is a lifelong journey.