Fall 2021 Edition
Dear students, families, and friends,
Evidence of the fall season surrounds us everywhere. The changing colors in the trees, the weather turning slightly cooler and brisk, and the smell of caldo (soup) cooking at home, if you’re lucky! During this time, we look forward to hot cocoa around bonfires, tailgating and football and picking out Halloween costumes or Dia de los Muertos outfits. For students, however, they may have their futures in mind as they prepare for life after high school.
Seniors in high school may have begun thinking about how they will finance college after they graduate. For those students looking for scholarship funds, be sure to review the Que Pasa section of this edition of The LatinEd Connection. We are featuring announcements for open scholarship programs, as well as an upcoming workshop focused on scholarship research and tips on submitting applications as part of the LNESC Caminos series. Read on for updates on LNESC programs that include a recently hosted virtual event, the Washington Youth Leadership Seminar, where we engaged with over 50 students representing cities across the US and Puerto Rico.
Although there have been many challenges affecting our communities in the last 18 months, we are hopeful that the state of public health will continue to improve. Through committed partnerships and our hardworking Team, more students and families were provided educational resources and learning experiences through virtual platforms, or hybrid versions of LNESC programs. LNESC continues offering high quality education and leadership programs through its’ 16 service centers as described in “En la Comunidad : LNESC in the Field”, where we are showcasing Austin and other stories of success.
Enjoy the season as we head into the holidays and hope that everyone is staying safe and healthy!
Que Pasa: Updates and Happenings at LNESC
Washington Youth Leadership Seminar
The LULAC National Educational Service Centers (LNESC) hosted the 24th annual Washington Youth Leadership Seminar (WYLS) from September 23-25, 2021. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s event was held on a virtual platform.
The Washington Youth Leadership Seminar offers a truly unique opportunity for students to voice their opinions directly to national leaders and policymakers. It challenges participating youth to focus on their own leadership development and encourages participants to apply these lessons back in their communities. This year's theme focused on College Finance & Affordability with speakers such as Senator Elizabeth Warren and Congressman Raul Grijalva.
Fifty-three high school junior and seniors from across the country joined us virtually from their homes to participate in various workshops focused on professional development, advocacy, leadership, and policy analysis. WYLS participants represented the following states: Arkansas, California, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington.
The Washington Youth Leadership Seminar was sponsored by the Walmart Foundation, McDonald’s, ExxonMobil, and Comcast NBCUniversal Telemundo.
NBCUniversal Media Scholarship
LNESC is proud to announce the 2021-2022 NBCUniversal Media Scholarship recipients! This year’s recipients include Eduardo Diaz Sandoval, El Paso Community College; Annie Duran Perez, University of Tennessee - Knoxville; Gabriella Marquez, University of Southern California; Joceline Medina, Buena Vista University; Ana Paula Monterrubio, Texas State University; Celeaciya Olvera, Augustana College; Cristy Ottenwarden Sanchez, University of North Texas at Dallas; Gabriela Perez Jordan, George Washington University; Nancy Quezada, University of North Texas at Dallas; and, Lauren Reyna, Sam Houston State University
The program awards ten (10) $5,000 national scholarships to qualified rising sophomores and juniors with an interest in the media and entertainment industry.
Caminos to College and Careers:
Educational and Leadership Virtual Workshop Series
LNESC hosted its second workshop as part of the Caminos to College and Careers: Educational and Leadership Virtual Workshop Series. College Campus Culture: Navigating Campus Resources was an event focused on college life on campus and understanding how to utilize campus resources for more than 50 students from across the country. Speakers from Columbia University, Indiana University, Stanford University, University of Chicago, and University of New Mexico shared their personal experiences on work-study opportunities, social and academic activities, and many other topics to help incoming freshmen gain a better understanding of what to expect their first year of college.
The next workshop will be Scholarship Search 101: $howing you the money!
As part of the Caminos to College and Careers: Education and Leadership Virtual Workshop Series, we will be hosting a workshop on researching and applying for scholarship opportunities. Participants will receive general information on scholarship opportunities, tips on how to research and identify scholarship resources, and helpful advice on best practices in applying for these funds. The presentation will be led by an experienced financial aid professional on Thursday, November 18, 2021 at 4 pm PT / 5 pm MT / 6 pm CT / 7 pm ET.
High school and college students are encouraged to participate to prepare themselves to apply to scholarship programs.
Participants will be entered into a raffle for Walmart gift cards in the amounts of $500, $250, and $100. Must attend the full Zoom session and submit a completed survey to qualify.
To register, please click here.
Mark your Calendars for #GivingTuesday!
November 30, 2021
GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world.
LNESC will be joining the movement through an outreach campaign to draw support for the education programs and leadership initiatives we provide through our local service centers.
Together we can continue making an impact on the Latino community. Please consider contributing any amount to LNESC. Your support would be most appreciated!
Connecting Community to Education: LNESC in the Field
In Austin, students at Akins, Eastside, and Northeast High School received a visit from the Naval Academy. In each school, 40 students attended the conversation with the Naval Academy and they were very interested in attending STEM summer sessions in Annapolis/possibly seeking degrees at the military academy to become officers.
The four pictures above are from the Naval Academy event.
Austin advisor, Christopher, conducting a "College of Best Fit" workshop with students at Navarro High School.
One of the Austin’s center former students (graduated senior this year) with her family, Tahaguas Abraha, receiving an LNSF scholarship. She's a super student, who is attending UT Austin for nursing.
Middle school students at Paredes doing a TSI preparation course with us, which happens two times a week for an hour. This helps them with eligibility into early college high school.
LNESC Colorado Springs
On October 13, 2021 the Colorado LNESC Upward Bound Classic and Upward Bound Math & Science Programs held their annual “Back To School” banquet. Approximately 150 students and parents were in attendance. The banquet was held at Hotel Elegante in Colorado Springs, CO. The event offered parents, students and LNESC staff the opportunity to meet in person to discuss the 2021-2022 academic year.
The LNESC Colorado staff of Steve Garcia-Director, Caroline Estrada-UBMS Coordinator and Julie Ziach-UB Coordinator shared important information, updates, and expectations. This year Jasmine Arenas, a local multimedia journalist and anchor for Colorado Springs ABC News affiliate and Telemundo Surco was the guest speaker who shared her story as a former Upward Bound participant and about her professional and personal success. Christina Moss, Assistant Director of Financial Aid at Pikes Peak Community College also gave a presentation about Federal Student Financial Aid, (FAFSA), scholarships and related information.
The evening was a great success and all left with a new appreciation of LNESC programs, services and our affiliates.
LNESC El Paso
Currently in El Paso, the LNESC staff is in the recruitment phase of The Talent Search Program, supported through a grant received from the Department of Education. Staff members were actively recruiting students at both Bel Air High School and Bel Air Middle School during the month of September. The staff was able to recruit 250 new students for the coming program year. They will recruit 250 more students to reach their goal of 500 active participants for the program.
The computer lab centers at both sites in El Paso are still closed due to COVID 19.
In other news, LNESC El Paso will no longer have Middle School Talent Search Educational Advisor, Carmen Ibarra. Carmen Ibarra had been with LNESC EP for nearly 10 years. She started as a tutor/mentor while attending the University of Texas, El Paso. She was very instrumental in the success of the Talent Search Program and will be missed!
Lideres in Action: Rising Stars of LNESC
We would like to belatedly celebrate and congratulate a couple of amazing graduating seniors from the class of 2021! Below, two students from Texas and Florida have shared with us their amazing achievements and how LNESC has been a part of their journey throughout their education.
“As a student who was integrated in the LNESC Upward Bound Math & Science Program for all four years of my high school, I can say I learned a lot of valuable skills needed for college. From properly writing a personal essay all the way to self- confidence. My Upward Bound counselor Ms. Guajardo is a great example of why I am now successful. She always encouraged me to be better. She would encourage our self-growth and through after school groups, she would motivate us to go to college.
LNESC Upward Bound Math & Science gave me a safe place to talk about my goals and what I wanted to be in the future. (The program) also helped me plan for my present and future. Through university field trips I learned about several schools and degree plans they had to offer. Being part of the (program) has given me college resources and scholarships to look into. Ms. Guajardo was of great help when completing the FAFSA and helping me apply for scholarships.
I can definitely say that being part of LNESC Upward Bound was a great experience and it is a great program for all students in high school."
- Isela Morales, graduate from Raul Yzaguirre Schools for Success in Houston, Texas
Marion Victoria Alvares-Sanchez, from Miami, Florida, joined the Miami LNESC Upward Bound Program in her freshman year of high school. She participated in the Upward Bound program, all four years, during high school. Marion was born in Miami, Florida. She is fluent in three languages: Spanish, English and Italian. Her favorite academic subject is Science, and her favorite Upward Bound educational trip was visiting the Kennedy Space Center, Port Canaveral-Florida. She will be attending Miami Dade College in the fall and will be pursuing a degree in Cyber Security.
Marion was asked “What do you think is the most important thing/are the most important things/ you learned during your four years in the Upward Bound Program?”
I've learned to seize every opportunity that comes my way. I used to think that a chance or being given an opportunity, also meant I would have to do too much work, so I would choose to pass it up. Participating in the Upward Bound program has made me believe in myself & has motivated me to work hard and always try to do & be better. I've also developed my social skills. I know it may sound odd, but when I initially joined the program, I was shy and didn't say much. Now, I am much more out-going, social and confident.
I've also learned a great deal about many career occupations, because of the enrichment programs, during the academic school year and the summer program classes. I have learned about the importance and significance of financial literacy and personal finances, too. For example, I learned what a loan is, the different types of loans available and the different resources that can help my parents and me cover my college costs.
I always learned something useful at every academic, college and career workshop. The workshops covered a variety of topics, including how to write a resume and what to wear to an interview. Everything I have learned from these workshops will help me prepare for college and for my future career.
Overall, I have learned so much valuable information that my friends, who were not enrolled in this program, are unaware of. When my friends have college related questions, I'm kind of like their go-to person!
Finally, and most importantly - at least for me, were the SAT/ACT test prep lessons-classes, offered on Saturdays. My SAT test score would have remained the same if I hadn't received this help. So, thank you for accepting me into the Upward Bound Program. Without this program, I would have been a different student.
- Marion Victoria Alvares-Sanchez graduated from G. Holmes Braddock Senior High in Miami, Florida
College Cues: Tips for Student Readiness
It is that time of year again — midterms season! Whether you have already completed them or are anticipating them to be around the corner, we hope the following tips shared by a professor can help you ace your midterms and get a good grade!
Midterms can be an in-class or take-home essay. Others may use short answers, fill-in-the-blank questions, or multiple-choice formats. You can study smarter by figuring out what your professor wants on the midterm. Some professors make it easy by handing out review sheets and going over the format and expectations. If expectations aren't as clear, be sure to ask questions and gather as much information as possible so you can ensure you're studying the right material.
Form a Study Group
Everyone is different. For some, studying with a group of classmates pays off. Study groups can help students break down complex concepts and divide up review materials. Research shows that explaining concepts to other study group members can improve learning. Once you've formed a study group for your midterm, consider meeting even after the test. The same strategies that help students on midterms work well for final exams, too.
Go to Office Hours
Professors hold office hours to answer questions and review material with students, but most students never attend office hours — a major missed opportunity when studying for midterms.
Plan to attend office hours 1-2 weeks before the midterm. Be sure to study before going and to come with a list of questions. Keep in mind that the busiest office hours sessions tend to be the last session before midterms or finals. This, however, can sometimes work in students' favor: Reviewing concepts in a small group with the instructor can occasionally offer more insights than a one-on-one meeting.
Make sure to always put your physical and mental health first! Things can get very stressful around this time but be sure you can get your work done while also taking a break in between.
For the tips above and more, please check out this link.
Parent Forum: Strategies for Student Success
Many college application deadlines are coming up for either early or regular decision. Your student may already have their mind set on their dream school or they could be stuck on trying to pick if they want to move away or stay close to home. Whatever the choice will be, you can be able to help your student prepare for their upcoming college application deadlines and any supporting documentation they may need. Please check out the tips below on how you can assist your student.
Trust Them Through the Process
It can come across has hard to trust your kids to complete the college application process on time and in a professional manner, but, you have to do it. This is your teen's first step towards independence. And, if you cannot trust your teen to complete the college application process on their own, how are you going to trust them to complete their college assignments and attend classes without your help and assistance?
For this reason, it is very important that you only help when they ask for it — that you take a step back and let them work through the process. Sure, there is a lot they will need to manage on their own, like asking for letters of recommendation from teachers and putting in transcript requests with the school counselor, but they can do it. Besides, if you rush in and take over for them, you are robbing them of their autonomy and independence. You also are communicating that you don't believe in them or trust their abilities, and that will do more damage than any little mishaps that occur during the college application process.
Assist with FAFSA Forms
Many schools require students to fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Student Aid) even if they do not think they will qualify for financial assistance.
Because the FAFSA form requires information from your tax returns, it is important that you assist your student as best you can. It is unlikely that your student will know how much money you made the year prior, as well as any details about your assets. For this reason, you will want to sit down and fill out the form together as soon as you can. Typically, the FAFSA form is released on October 1 of each year.
Make Contact with Schools
Teens should be encouraged not only to visit the campus and take a tour but also to reach out to their admissions counselors. They might even consider researching some of the professors within the department they are considering and reaching out with a thoughtful email or question about the college. Making contact with the school through a variety of ways demonstrates interest in the school.
For more tips and resources, click here.
Your contributions are what helps us continue with our educational programs and provide scholarships to outstanding Latino/a leaders. Together we can continue making an impact on the Latino/a community. Consider supporting LNESC by making a donation.
The LULAC National Educational Service Centers, Inc. (LNESC) is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit agency whose mission is to provide the highest quality educational opportunities needed for the development of life-long learners and leaders.
As LULAC's education arm, since 1973 LNESC has provided direct educational services to under-served communities throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, serving more than 14,000 students each year. Our educational programs break down the barriers that exist between high-need students and high school diplomas, college degrees, and jobs in highly skilled fields.
Through its network of community-based education centers, LNESC provides educational counseling, scholarships, mentorship, leadership development, literacy, and technology programs.
For more information go to www.lnesc.org.