District 211 Students Attend 2016 Harper College Latino Summit

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During the opening ceremony, a flag presentation was displayed that showcased all the different countries Latino and Latina students represent.

District 211 students from Hoffman Estates, Palatine, and Schaumburg High Schools recently joined several students from area school districts for the 2016 Latino Summit. There, students had opportunities to hear from Latino professionals, explore college opportunities, and listen to a keynote speaker.

The 2016 Latino Summit was held on Nov. 18 at William Rainey Harper College and more than 500 Latino freshmen and sophomores from 17 area schools attended. Presentations were held in both English and Spanish.

PHS students Briana Solano, Jahela Suarez, Eunice Juarez, and Oscar Cuevas attended the Latino Summit at Harper College.

PHS students Briana Solano, Jahela Suarez, Eunice Juarez, and Oscar Cuevas attended the Latino Summit at Harper College.

The keynote speaker this year was Jacqueline Camacho-Ruiz. The summit helps students develop leadership skills, network, and meet peers from other schools with similar aspirations. Each year, the Latino Summit is a self-supported event, and funds must be found to finance the event and scholarships for deserving seniors.

This year, the following 10 District 211 students earned scholarships:

 

Scholarship recipients

Scholarship recipients

 

 

 

Marilyn Medina-Perez Scholarship recipients:

Emilio Balderas – Palatine High School

Christian Salinas – Palatine High School

Daniel Pacheco – Palatine High School

Katherine Perez – Palatine High School

Samantha Ortiz – Palatine High School

 

Latino Summit Scholarship recipients:

Jorg Morales – Hoffman Estates High School

Lizbeth Morales – Palatine High School

Jennifer Perez – Schaumburg High School

 




D211 Foundation Innovation Grant Spotlight: Guiding and Nurturing Academic Success (GANAS) III

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Participating GANAS students participate in the Latino Summit.

Many students spend four years of high school preparing for college, taking dual-credit and advanced placement courses, and exploring what they want to accomplish after graduation. For many others, specifically first-generation high school students, college seems like a great idea but one that is simply not attainable for them.

One program at Hoffman Estates High School is aiming to change the self-perception many of those students have. Guiding and Nurturing Academic Success (GANAS III) is a program for the school’s Latino population. Through GANAS, which is funded by a D211 Foundation Innovation Grant, students are exposed to professionals in varying fields and shown that earning a collegiate degree is something they can accomplish.

“Going to college was always something that I had to do even though I never really wanted to go to college,” said Freshman Anayeli Huerta. “There were a lot of people at the summit that came from nothing and actually went to college to have a career.”

GANAS is currently available for freshman students only. Each year, students attend a Latino Summit at Harper College in November. While there, they hear from several Latino professionals in different fields. Many of these professionals are the first in their families to graduate from high school and college, and students have said it’s great to see successful people that came from similar, tough backgrounds accomplishing their goals.

“When you are generally thought of as a minority and statistic, you get scared and start to believe those things you hear,” said Steffi Delgado, freshman and GANAS III participant. “When you have other people showing you that they actually accomplished what they wanted to in life, it is amazing and you just get the reassurance that you can do it too.”

Students who have participated in the program hope it can expand to include students of all grade levels, and not just freshmen.

“The summit made me open my eyes and see that school is important,” said sophomore Jorge Morales. “If I could I would thank the Foundation because this helped me and it meant so much to me. I wanted to go back this year but it was only for freshmen to go.”

Additionally, students hope the program can also include college visits, as many of them have difficulties planning a college visit outside of school.

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Valeria Ojeda, senior and recipient of a $500 scholarship from the Latino Summit, shakes hands with HEHS Principal Jim Britton at the event.

“Participating in this freshman year is the motivator and once we are in junior or senior year, we could take a trip to a college that maybe we weren’t thinking about,” said Valeria Ojeda, senior and recipient of a $500 scholarship from the Latino Summit. “A college visit could change your mind. You might have thought you wanted a big school but when you go your realize you want a small school. That would help.”

Freshman Harim Rodriguez said this program can reach students young and teach them the importance of staying in school, something he benefitted from. “This program served as an example to show us that if we put motivation in to our work, we can actually get very far in our future, he said.”

Angelica Cordova, HEHS guidance counselor and sponsor of GANAS, said as she hopes to see the program grow, she will be able to show more students to pursue the potential she knows they have. With the continued support of the D211 Foundation, she said the program could make that possible.

“Right now, this is really only a freshman year experience,” Cordova said. “I would like to see it trickle down so students get four years of college exposure. These are kids we need to be reaching and they are all great students.”




District 211 Students Join Area Schools for Upcoming Latino Summit

District 211 is participating in the 2012 Latino Summit along with several area schools. There, students will have the opportunity to hear from Latino professionals, explore college opportunities, and listen to a notable keynote speaker.

The 11th annual summit will be held at William Rainey Harper College on Nov. 16 from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m., and there will more than 400 Latino freshmen and sophomores attending from area Districts 211, 214, 220, 207, and 225. Presentations will be held in both English and Spanish.

The keynote speaker is Enrique Rodriguez, a news anchor, reporter, producer, sports anchor, and forum moderator at Univision Network. Rodriguez will speak to students not only about his time with professional reporting in a Latino organization, but also of his dedication to community events and news. He holds two Emmy awards, and will demonstrate to students how he overcame obstacles to get where he is today.

Many other Latino professionals will speak to students throughout the day, and share their experiences within different job markets and navigating the professional world. These inspirational stories, in addition to college representatives speaking with students, will help kick start freshmen and sophomores to think about their futures.  The summit will help them develop leadership skills, network, and meet peers from other schools with similar aspirations.

Each year, the Latino Summit is a self-supported event, and funds must be found to finance the event and scholarships for deserving seniors. For more information on the event or to inquire about a financial contribution, please contact Claudia Rueda-Alvarez via email at Cruedaalvarez@maine207.org.