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

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.)

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](https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/african-american-students/2192423-highlighting-success-stories.html). I don’t want to let this initiative stall out.

@“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.

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.

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.

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.

@Aguadecoco , do you have examples of things you have to consider in your child’s college process that other users might not?

@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.

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I love that this discussion is happening. I have been thinking on this and as a Latinx parent, I have found that CC has been the single most helpful resource to me. I am grateful for the help I have received from parents and others that post here, as well as the knowledge I have gleaned from articles I have read on CC.

I think increased visibility by posting Hispanic/Latinx articles of interest would be really helpful. I have noticed that those forums will die out sometimes and have old information-still valuable, but I have to dig around for them.

I’m still on the journey for these resources and since I am not a writer, just a contributor, I thought about this yesterday as I was looking for schools that have low diversity but are realizing the richness that Latinx students can bring to their campus and those that have made a commitment to doing so. I would love if there were more resources on here for me to turn directly to. My lens since I have another one getting ready to apply to colleges, is specific to schools interested in adding more high achieving Latinx students to their rosters.

A bit of background- my oldest is at Amherst College and we come from a very low funded state for education and it shows. The inability to provide much if any solid college counseling is what we have faced, through no fault of the counselors since they are managing some of the highest mental health needs in the country. When parents on here post about things like programs they or that their students can log into to see history of acceptances to certain schools, we have none of that available to us or at least not mentioned to us.

Sometimes I feel like we just don’t know what we don’t know. That is such an overwhelming feeling of inequity. We are running the race with just as talented kids as the others, only we don’t hear the starting gun go off and are trailing so many others and having to make up for lost time.

Any resources you make available specific to Hispanic/Latinx students, if they are highly visible, then I am all over them. So yes, there is more that can be done and I welcome anything you come up with. Again, I am so appreciative of this space. The countless hours on here have paid off for my family already.

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/b.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!

As parents who are in the know by being here on CC, we can also help our kids friends whose parents may not speak English, or know anything about the American college experience.

What we encounter at our schools is that the GC and most of the teachers all went to the local directional state U and they are not aware of what is needed to attend a top school.

These posts are fantastic!

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.

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)

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?

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.

@Kethra yes, it’s really difficult to find the NHRP scholarships and amounts given.

It would be really useful to have a comprehensive list.

By going on CC I learned about the NHRP. My S20 had just missed the cutoff but I also hadn’t really seen where he would be able to use it if he had made the cutoff. So i agree with others that a list for NHRP scholarships would be helpful.

Also more updated scholarships/school fly-in lists/threads. I was able to utilize a post that had listed fly-ins. it was very helpful and my son applied to a few of them off the list.
Also by maybe making a list/thread of organizations /groups/clubs that are Hispanic specific, (like the National Society of Hispanic Engineers.)

This is a great thread. Love all the suggestions made and look forward to seeing more posts concerning the college search for our children.

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