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Outreach discussion set for Hispanic students

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ANNA M. LUX
December 6, 2011
— UW-Whitewater students are offering a second college outreach discussion for Hispanic high school students in Walworth County.

Eight Hispanic college students will talk to young people in the Delavan-Darien School District at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8, at Delavan-Darien High School, 150 Cumming St. A similar program was held in November at Elkhorn High School.


"Many Latino students believe they can't go to college," said UW-W student Joab Cano, who leads the Delavan effort. "We believe if students see Latino students who are in college, they will be motivated to work harder and also attend college."


Cano graduated from DDHS in 2009 and stays active in the district through volunteering. He is a UW-W junior with a major in Spanish education.


The outreach will be presented in Spanish because college students are reaching out to parents, who might not speak English.


"It is very important that Latino parents get involved in their children's education because that will motivate students to perform better in school," Cano said. "We are not only reaching out to students. We also are reaching out to the parents."


The 2010 census shows the Hispanic population in Delavan comprises about 29 percent of the city.


The Pew Hispanic Center reports young Hispanics are much more likely than other American youths to drop out of school. The center is a nonpartisan research group that seeks to improve understanding of the U.S. Hispanic population.


Cano said Latino students face obstacles in going to college, including lack of support or direction from parents.


"Most of our parents did not attend college," Cano said. "So we have no idea how to go to college. 'Where to start?' 'Who to ask?' 'When to get started?' Those are all questions that Latino students struggle with. That is why we are committed to these outreach programs."


Cano and other Hispanic college students will share their personal stories about going to the university, and they will explain how to apply for and get financial aid.


"We were once in the same footsteps as these students," he said. "We want to show them that, if we can do it, so can they."



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