As a planned effort to promote education and educational opportunities among Hispanic youth in North Carolina, the North Carolina Society of Hispanic Professionals (NCSHP) held its 13th annual Hispanic Educational Summit on March 30th, 2012 in Raleigh.
Ten Forest Hills Hispanic students, Cindy Sierra, Allen Solorio, Elisbeth Sanchez, Irvin Velazquez, Hector Rosas, Elivier Gomez, Deyaneira Martinez, Luis Soriano, Fredi Garcia, and Leticia Gonzalez, represented Union County during the Summit, the largest educational conference for middle and high school Hispanic students in North Carolina.
Students participated in educational workshops, learned about available scholarships and college funding, talked to Hispanic speakers who have achieved success in their professional fields, and visited exhibits about academic programs and services.
The initiative of the NCSHP was to promote information on the benefits of formal and higher education among the Hispanic youth of North Carolina, to motivate Hispanic students to excel at their highest potential, and to inform Hispanic Students about educational opportunities in school programs within various community colleges and universities. The motto of the conference was “Tu Vida, Tu Futuro, Tu Destino…Es Ahora…Edúcate!”
The Summit was hosted by NC State University and served over 650 Latino students, grades 7 through 12, from 26 North Carolina counties.
“What I have learned from the trip is that there are so many opportunities for us Hispanics out there…opportunities to go to college, have a good career, and get a well-paid job after college,” says Luis Soriano, junior at Forest Hills.
“The conference will help me to prepare for the university. I saw Hispanic students are helped a lot to get ready for the future. I liked almost all of the workshops. Science and Health Care sections were the most interesting for me. I would like to thank Mrs. Covarrubias for taking me to the Summit,” added Hector Rosas, a senior at Forest Hills.
The Stay in School campaign, sponsored by Nationwide Insurance and supported by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and Univision Channel 40, is a NCSHP program to raise awareness among youth and their parents of the low graduation rate among Hispanic youth in North Carolina and to inform and remind students and their parents about the benefits of staying in school, finishing high school, and continuing with their education.
“I wanted to go to the Hispanic Educational Summit. Unfortunately, I had to work. If I had gone, I would’ve learned more about a perfect college for me. I heard a lot of positive things about the conference from my friends, about wonderful opportunities, especially for Hispanic students like me. I want to take a big step for college and choose a great career for my future,” comments Juan Solis, a junior at Forest Hills.
“I am absolutely convinced that the Summit will encourage my students to get the most of this experience. The future of Hispanics in North Carolina largely depends on the level of education of the Hispanic population, particularly our youth. I work with students at school to provide support, guidance, and motivation. I believe Hispanic students have a great potential to make a difference in their lives and the life of our community by contributing their dreams and cultural strength,” says Mrs. Covarrubias, the ESL Teacher at Forest Hills.
The ultimate goal of the Summit is to help Hispanic students attain academic success, graduate from high school, and become the leaders of tomorrow.