Latino students plan for college | SierraSun.com

Latino students plan for college

An enthusiastic group of high school students recently received a generous dose of inspiration and motivation at the Northern Nevada Hispanic Youth Leadership Summit held at the University of Nevada, Reno campus on Oct. 24.

In collaboration with Washoe County and UNR, the annual event attracts more than 500 northern Nevada and Tahoe-area students. This year, 40 students from North Tahoe High School and Truckee High School attended the event that features motivational Latino professionals, as well as valuable nuts and bolts information for college-bound students.

“The speakers were great,” said Abigayl Enriques, 14, a sophomore at North Tahoe High School. “We learned never to give up and to never let any one say no to your dreams.”

Enriques said she was particularly inspired by the story one local attorney shared about the exact day he decided to practice law when he was still a child working as a migrant farm worker.

According to NTHS Spanish teacher Kristina McCart, these types of inspirational messages are key for our region’s young Latino population.

“It’s important for these students to get out of Tahoe to see the diversity in Reno,” McCart explained. “It’s an eye opener for these kids to see successful Latino professionals and college students whom they can relate to. Many of these students will be first generation college students ” they really need a road map of sorts.”

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The conference’s road map was punctuated with helpful advice on college entrance requirements and financial aid assistance.

Truckee High School English learner coordinator Megan Rosenblatt shared McCart’s enthusiasm for the conference.

“The Latino conference was amazing,” Rosenblatt said. “On the bus ride home Nayeli Gonzalez said to me: ‘In middle school I planned on going to college, and then I thought I wasn’t going to go; after today, I want to go.’ I believe that the conference refocused the students and reminded them of a bigger picture or bigger goal.”

North Tahoe High School freshman Zulema Medina, 14, now plans to attend college and study to be a social worker or counselor. For Medina, the conference made her believe anything is possible.

“I liked the way they motivated us to go to college and told us about all the scholarships that are available,” Medina said. “Just make yourself a goal and make it happen!”

This opportunity was made possible through the assistance of The Community Fund of North Lake Tahoe (the charitable arm of the North Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce and the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association) and Soroptimist International of Truckee-Donner who financed the students’ transportation.