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Latino Parent University holds spring reception

June 1, 2012
Vanessa Segundo, Francisca Ortega, Sheila Conrad, Manuel Ortega.

Vanessa Segundo, Francisca Ortega, Sheila Conrad, Manuel Ortega.

Latino Parent University, a joint early-outreach effort launched this spring between the Latino Resource Center and East Aurora School District 131, held a reception last weekend.

Understanding the importance of working with families in the community, Latino Resource Center Director Emily Prieto collaborated with Sheila Conrad, principal at East Aurora High School, to coordinate the 12-week program.

A variety of workshops were held to develop a partnership with parents and guardians to ensuring that students not only successfully complete high school but also are better prepared to plan for college.

Vanessa Segundo, research and project specialist at the Latino Resource Center and program coordinator of Latino Parent University, enthusiastically collaborated with a variety of educators and community members to develop workshops that would target issues and concerns of parent participants.

Collaborators included Lourdes “Lulu” Blacksmith, director of Governmental and Multicultural Affairs at Waubonsee Community College, and Ercilia Jonas-Miranda, outreach coordinator at the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.

Over the course of 12 weeks, parent participants attended both evening and weekend sessions where they demonstrated their eagerness to learn how to become partners in their children’s education.

Emily Prieto

Emily Prieto

Parents also visited their first college campuses and were part of Diversity Day at both NIU and Aurora University.

“We are very grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in Latino Parent University as we don’t know much about how to better help our daughter, an incoming high school freshman, achieve her dream of attending college,” parents Manuel and Francisca Ortega stated at the Latino Parent University reception held Saturday, May 26.

“All the workshops were informative and demonstrated that although financial aid continues to be the biggest obstacle for some of our students, there are many opportunities for families like ours to plan for our children’s future.”

Conrad demonstrated her continued support of Latino Parent University by ensuring her attendance at each session.

“The collaboration between the Latino Resource Center and East Aurora High School was very critical because the Latino Parent University was a way in which we could get parents involved in school and also give them the tools to help their children,” Conrad said. “The parents that came to the sessions on a consistent basis essentially became a support group to each other and during certain times they were able to answer questions for each other.”

To complement the success of Latino Parent University, the Latino Resource Center and District 131 have partnered to coordinate a Student Leadership Summit for this summer.