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What can we do to support Hispanic students and their families?

CCadmin_JonCCadmin_Jon 211 replies22 threads Community Manager
Shortly after the death of George Floyd, I asked how we might help African American families. A few people have asked about the challenges that Hispanic students and their families have. It seems likely there are some shared barrier for underrepresented minorities. But there are clearly going to be some things that are unique.

I'll ask the same questions:
  • In what ways does CC help Hispanic students now?
  • How might the community do more to make a difference?
  • What can we, the site staff, do to support you, the members of the community?

(As always, my PMs are open too.)
17 replies
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Replies to: What can we do to support Hispanic students and their families?

  • Youdon'tsayYoudon'tsay 19657 replies467 threads Senior Member
    I am unclear why this was moved to another forum when the companion AA thread remained in the parent cafe. If it matters, I am Hispanic.
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  • CCadmin_JonCCadmin_Jon 211 replies22 threads Community Manager
    I am unclear why this was moved to another forum when the companion AA thread remained in the parent cafe. If it matters, I am Hispanic.

    I realized later that these forums exist. I feel like it makes more sense to start asking the people closest to the problem rather than start with a broader group. I was also discouraged with some of the insensitive responses we got on the Parent Cafe.

    I also followed up with a specific idea on the African American forum. I don't want to let this initiative stall out.
    · Reply · Share
  • LindagafLindagaf 11293 replies603 threads Super Moderator
    @Youdon'tsay , Did you find CC helpful when your child or children were looking at college, or are you in the thick of that now?

    I see quite a few Hispanic students post on CC. Often, they seem to begin coming here in September. Hopefully they will see this thread. BTW, this thread is featured in the home page.
    · Reply · Share
  • Youdon'tsayYoudon'tsay 19657 replies467 threads Senior Member
    Very helpful. Mine are long past the undergrad stage, but I learned so much. Some was Hispanic-specific, such as the PSAT-related honor, but most was applicable to anyone.
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  • gablesdadgablesdad 60 replies9 threads Junior Member
    Thanks to the CC leadership for taking on this. I think that your action to create a safe space in this forum, which I assume will be well curated and moderated, will be a big step forward. Freedom of expression and views is as important as diviersity, but the otherwise helpful anonimity in CC could serve (and seems has served) as a shield for bullying around diversity issues. While a healthy
    and fully free exchange of ideas among adults in the Parents Cafe should continue, Latinx OPs probably need a safe space to ask questions about resources and experiences specific to them.

    It would be helpful if CC leaders took the initiative in posting resources that they think are available from their vast experience and involvement. I think that will drive engagement from OPs.

    Also, you may want advertise in the orange boxes CCs important overall safe-space initiative if you were to formalize it.

    I would love to have the opportunity to tell any diversity bully how much value I have added to our country and how successful I am, and how I would have not been able to do it without a major university's genuine concern for disversity, but I need to protect the confidentiality of my children.
    · Reply · Share
  • AguadecocoAguadecoco 298 replies0 threads Junior Member
    My son is a rising HS senior, we are in the thick of the college application process here.


    CC has been useful and I have learned a lot, but it could be more open and welcoming to other voices. A lot of the parents on here are White and Upper Middle class, don’t know how you attract a broader audience so you can have more diversity of opinions and advice.


    I agree with everything the wonderful parents on the African American thread have posted. Our college search is slightly different because we have to worry about things the average CC poster doesn’t ever have to consider.


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  • LindagafLindagaf 11293 replies603 threads Super Moderator
    @Aguadecoco , do you have examples of things you have to consider in your child’s college process that other users might not?
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  • AguadecocoAguadecoco 298 replies0 threads Junior Member
    @Lindagaf


    Does the school have a recent history of race issues, if so how did they handle it. We want to speak to current Latino or Black students and learn about their experiences on campus and in class. Are the schools fostering an environment of inclusivity or are minority students just hanging out amongst themselves?

    What is the graduation rate and career placement for Latino students? Are the students provided with guidance and mentoring? A lot of Latino students are first generation students that need extra support so they don’t drop out of school.
    · Reply · Share
  • aunt beaaunt bea 10461 replies73 threads Senior Member
    edited July 31
    Dear Latin/ AA student. If you are first generation to go to college you will do things a little differently than someone who has had a college-educated American parent. So I would like to point out some issues that affect the first generation.

    I get that if you are not THE STAR athlete at your school, you may receive some attention to encourage you to go to college. I also understand that your guidance counselor is overwhelmed with the large numbers of students they each have on their rosters.
    My pointers from the high school where I recently was on staff (as a health provider) include the following:

    Try to engage your school counselor.
    I know some of us try to avoid the counseling center as much as possible, but they need to know you, and you need their help for letters of recommendation (LOR's),
    your transcript (your school grades' record),
    Scholarship and grant deadlines
    teacher selection

    (In high school, I was a bit on the "shy" side, but I was one of the few students of color who was what they called, "gifted" at that time. I was placed in advanced and AP classes and was given a "gifted students' counselor". If I hadn't been placed in that program, no one would have ever noticed me. So you need to advocate for yourself.)

    Parent Involvement You tend to do everything by yourself and you involve your parents later, way later. Yes, "right now-right now" (from George Lopez). You need to involve them in baby steps. I know from experience that the first thing out of their mouths is, "How are you going to go to college??? We barely have enough to survive on now. Where are you going to get the money? No, you have to work." I had to grab our parish priest to have him spell out the advantages.

    Taxes You will need your parents' financial information to fill out the FREE APPLICATION FOR FEDERAL STUDENT AID (FAFSA).Yes, I know we tend to file on the day that taxes are due, but if you are in a State that requires your parents tax information early (like CalGrants in California), you may miss crucial funding! So keep on top of your parents taxes. Help them make and keep file folders of their tax information (W-2's-which reports what they've made over the year at work and the taxes they've paid). Ask one of your favorite teachers if they will give you a file folder.

    GRADES You have to keep up your grades! Your high school probably has a ton of students going out of their way to find extra-curricular (EC's) activities-and the most popular one is tutoring. You should be able to sign up for tutoring through your teachers or through your counseling office. Don't be intimidated! You wont be made to feel "stupid", which is how my kids responded. You have to step out of your comfort zone and see how the "high-grade" students study and organize themselves. Keep your grades high!!

    Learn to write a cohesive, succinct paragraph. A lot of colleges require essays. If you can't write well, it will be difficult for you to convey a written message, but you can seek out the tutors.
    When writing, Increase your vocabulary usage. Go on the web daily and look at the word of the day. (On July 31, 2020-on Dictionary.com, the term obfuscate means to make unclear or obscure. It comes from Latin which means, if you are a native speaker of Spanish, you should be able to define the relationship between "oscuro" to obfuscate).

    There is a lot more, but we need your questions and input. Feel free to ask!
    edited July 31
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  • LindagafLindagaf 11293 replies603 threads Super Moderator
    These posts are fantastic!
    · Reply · Share
  • CU123CU123 3740 replies77 threads Senior Member
    edited August 1
    aunt bea wrote: »
    Dear Latin/ AA student. If you are first generation to go to college you will do things a little differently than someone who has had a college-educated American parent. So I would like to point out some issues that affect the first generation.

    I get that if you are not THE STAR athlete at your school, you may receive some attention to encourage you to go to college. I also understand that your guidance counselor is overwhelmed with the large numbers of students they each have on their rosters.
    My pointers from the high school where I recently was on staff (as a health provider) include the following:

    Try to engage your school counselor.
    I know some of us try to avoid the counseling center as much as possible, but they need to know you, and you need their help for letters of recommendation (LOR's),
    your transcript (your school grades' record),
    Scholarship and grant deadlines
    teacher selection

    (In high school, I was a bit on the "shy" side, but I was one of the few students of color who was what they called, "gifted" at that time. I was placed in advanced and AP classes and was given a "gifted students' counselor". If I hadn't been placed in that program, no one would have ever noticed me. So you need to advocate for yourself.)

    Parent Involvement You tend to do everything by yourself and you involve your parents later, way later. Yes, "right now-right now" (from George Lopez). You need to involve them in baby steps. I know from experience that the first thing out of their mouths is, "How are you going to go to college??? We barely have enough to survive on now. Where are you going to get the money? No, you have to work." I had to grab our parish priest to have him spell out the advantages.

    Taxes You will need your parents' financial information to fill out the FREE APPLICATION FOR FEDERAL STUDENT AID (FAFSA).Yes, I know we tend to file on the day that taxes are due, but if you are in a State that requires your parents tax information early (like CalGrants in California), you may miss crucial funding! So keep on top of your parents taxes. Help them make and keep file folders of their tax information (W-2's-which reports what they've made over the year at work and the taxes they've paid). Ask one of your favorite teachers if they will give you a file folder.

    GRADES You have to keep up your grades! Your high school probably has a ton of students going out of their way to find extra-curricular (EC's) activities-and the most popular one is tutoring. You should be able to sign up for tutoring through your teachers or through your counseling office. Don't be intimidated! You wont be made to feel "stupid", which is how my kids responded. You have to step out of your comfort zone and see how the "high-grade" students study and organize themselves. Keep your grades high!!

    Learn to write a cohesive, succinct paragraph. A lot of colleges require essays. If you can't write well, it will be difficult for you to convey a written message, but you can seek out the tutors.
    When writing, Increase your vocabulary usage. Go on the web daily and look at the word of the day. (On July 31, 2020-on Dictionary.com, the term obfuscate means to make unclear or obscure. It comes from Latin which means, if you are a native speaker of Spanish, you should be able to define the relationship between "oscuro" to obfuscate).

    There is a lot more, but we need your questions and input. Feel free to ask!

    Great advice, but it really applies to ALL students who are in a disadvantaged socioeconomic position/first gen. Personally I am a big fan of helping all those from this background.
    edited August 1
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  • COSpgsparentCOSpgsparent 167 replies1 threads Junior Member
    edited August 4
    I'm a 50-year-old woman of Mexican heritage. My mom dropped out of school in eighth grade. I did well in school, but I did not know that standardized tests existed until one week before I took the ACT. I ended up scoring okay and going to the local university (thank God we had one) and worked three jobs. I graduated and later received a graduate degree. My oldest three children have all attended college. The oldest graduated and is a reporter. The next two are in a top college right now. My youngest is a rising high school sophomore, and he just took his first ACT. My point is that with each generation, we can do better. I think College Confidential is a great resource. I also think that if parents will take children under their wing (friends of your own children) who do not have resources, that would be helpful. I've helped kids through the college essay process, for example. Also, make your own college kids aware that just because a peer is a minority, it doesn't mean they scored lower on a standardized test/had a lower GPA, etc., and still got into a top college based on their minority status...their grades/standardized stats may very well be better than non-minorities' stats. Finally, I think we need to be careful about how we talk about "whites." We need to get to a point where we stop name calling period and care for each other as human beings. P.S. Here are some of my ideas for helping: 1. List free summer college programs for Hispanic students somewhere on CC 2. List colleges and universities that have scholarships for Hispanic students somewhere on the site 3. List college diversity programs somewhere on the site (these can be great foot-in-the-door opportunities for first generation students)
    edited August 4
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  • gablesdadgablesdad 60 replies9 threads Junior Member
    I have seen references in other threads to selective schools in certain geographic areas with low Latinx diversity that are looking to do better. Can the CC gurus help this thread compile what might be some of those schools for the 2020 and 2021 admission cycles?
    · Reply · Share
  • kethrakethra 56 replies1 threads Junior Member
    As a parent who is obsessively researching scholarship opportunities for the College Board program that was formerly known as the NHRP (National Hispanic Recognition Program), I know that I would appreciate a compiled list of scholarships that are available to those students that qualify for the College Board National Recognition Program for Hispanic Recognition. There is a lack of information available and it is not easy to find the information on these scholarships, and that's that I am a researcher by training. I have to imagine that it is that much more difficult for other Hispanic families to find this information for their children.
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  • AguadecocoAguadecoco 298 replies0 threads Junior Member
    @Kethra yes, it’s really difficult to find the NHRP scholarships and amounts given.

    It would be really useful to have a comprehensive list.

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