How Hillsborough’s Latino students find their way to college

How Hillsborough's Latino students find their way to college

Tampa – Bressida Flores needs to maintain preventing for her dream.

She plans to use to the College of South Florida subsequent 12 months to review criminology. As a highschool senior at Strawberry Crest College in Dover, she is aware of the longer term is in her fingers.

“I’m excited to start out a brand new journey and have the chance to pursue my greater schooling,” stated Flores.

She discovered a solution to obtain her targets by means of a program known as “Pasos al futuro” (Steps to the Future), a Spanish-only faculty info program for eighth- to twelfth-grade college students. The initiative, which incorporates workshops, is a part of an academic effort by the Hillsborough County Public College District.

Final week, Flores, 17, attended a workshop on the College of South Florida along with her father, Ricardo, to be taught concerning the faculty admissions course of and tips on how to analysis scholarships and monetary help alternatives.

Within the 17 years for the reason that program started, it has created a supportive group that values ​​greater schooling and allows a straightforward transition to varsity. For a lot of, it has helped them change into the primary of their households to learn from a school schooling.

Florida has the third largest variety of Latino college students within the nation, based on the Nationwide Heart for Schooling Statistics. Within the Tampa Bay space, greater than 80,000 college students establish as Hispanic, like Flores.

Elvis Santiago, 21, a cybersecurity scholar born in Tampa, stated his transition to varsity would have been harder with out this system.

His dad and mom, Mauricio and Neves, couldn’t assist him pay for school tuition. They got here from Mexico greater than twenty years in the past to work the fields of Plant Metropolis. They have been at all times struggling to make ends meet.

However Santiago is eligible for monetary help from a number of sources, together with the Immigrant Faculty Help Program (CAMPA), a federally funded initiative that gives monetary help and providers to college students from immigrant backgrounds and seasonal farmers.

(From left) USF college students Fabian Machin-Arredondo and Elvis Santiago participate in a panel dialogue throughout a Passos al Futuro occasion at USF on Wednesday, November 16, 2022, in Tampa. The presentation, which was held in Spanish, included info for Hispanic college students between the eighth and twelfth grades and their dad and mom on tips on how to put together for school. [ ANGELICA EDWARDS | Times ]

“Pasos El Futuro inspired me and made me need to be the primary in my household to go to varsity,” stated Santiago.

Zoila Ramirez de Roman, from the Dominican Republic, attended the workshop along with her daughter Sofia, 14, a ninth-grade scholar at Dr. Kiran C. Patel Excessive College in Tampa.

Ramirez de Roman got here to the USA along with her household a 12 months and a half in the past. She and her husband have been in search of higher instructional alternatives for Sophia and her eldest daughter, Isabella Carolina, 18.

The Hispanic program is exclusive, Ramirez de Roman stated, and emphasizes scholar participation. She stated the teachings they discovered transcend language.

“It was undoubtedly an enriching expertise,” stated Ramirez de Roman.

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Sofia stated she appreciated this system as a result of it made her understand that college students like herself have the chance to pursue a top quality schooling.

“I favored it rather a lot as a result of I normally cannot get numerous info in Spanish on these subjects,” she stated.

Flores was born in North Carolina, the place, in the summertime of 2005, her dad and mom have been working selecting strawberries, tomatoes, and blueberries.

When her household moved to Plant Metropolis, Flores was decided to proceed being an excellent scholar. She discovered the worth of duty and perseverance from her dad and mom, Ricardo and Yanhet, from Mexico. She stated they helped her obtain her goals of attending college subsequent 12 months. And so they needed to take part.

Passos al Futuro is very worthwhile in properties like hers, Flores stated, the place no English is spoken.

“My dad and mom need to educate me,” she stated. “They did not have that possibility. All the things relied on my efforts.”

For extra info go to https://www.hillsboroughschools.org/Page/7165.

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