March 27 event spotlights education pathways to Latino families

Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021 | Written by Greg Tammen


OLATHE — An upcoming event for Latino families spotlights the pathways to college and payment options for earning a higher education degree.

"Latinos Go to College" is from 10 a.m. to noon on March 27 online via the Zoom platform.

The event is for Latino families with students who will be entering high school or who currently have a high school freshman, sophomore or junior. Attendees will receive information and resources about 21st century programs and other high school preparation programs in area high schools, community colleges and universities.

Two breakout sessions will cover how to prepare for college while in high school and how to pay for college. Time is allotted so that both sessions can be attended.

All information and resources will be available in both Spanish and English. Sessions will be recorded and available after the event on K-State Olathe's YouTube channel.

The event showcases the various education opportunities at high schools and community colleges and how those dovetail into bachelor's degree programs at universities. Attendees will get valuable insight into how to apply for and pay for college as well as attend a virtual college fair with area colleges.

"Many students are going to community college first," said Laura Loyacono, director of community and education engagement at K-State's Olathe campus. "As a university, we want them to know that we'll be ready to welcome them when they're ready to come — whether that's out of high school or community college."

The idea for "Latinos Go to College" came from the Olathe Chamber of Commerce and its Workforce Advisory Committee. K-State is spearheading the effort.

Collaborators include Johnson County Community College; Kansas City Kansas Community College; the Hispanic Development Fund of Kansas City; KC Degrees; the Kansas State College Advising Corps; Shawnee Mission, Olathe and other local school districts and private schools; Olathe Chamber of Commerce; the Regional Workforce Intelligence Network of Greater Kansas City; St. Paul Catholic Church; Avila University; the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City; Arvest Bank; and the Kansas Workforce Partnership.

The broad coalition of partners reaches into some of the education, community and faith-based cornerstones of the Latino community, Loyacono said. It's important to do this because these areas often overlap. For example, one of the collaborators is Father Hermes at St. Paul Catholic Church in Olathe, who oversees a large Latino membership and has held college fairs at the church following Mass.

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