June 14, 2011
Hispanic Center of Western Michigan
Being a Hispanic and an immigrant woman in this country, I felt insecure and fearful to confront a new world of living in the United States. When I first got here, I had so many questions and doubts. I did not know the language, how to apply for a job or where to look for help and support to make my life easier. After a couple of years, I found a small but very important Hispanic organization that helped me to succeed through the services that they provided. There are many people who still do not know about it, and I think people should be aware and take advantage of the different services that the ...view middle of the document...
These services include: Family Support Services, Adult Education & Employment, Youth Services, Immigration Rights Program, Civic Engagement Program, Interpretation and Translation Services, and Cultural Event Program (Hispanic Center). These programs were created to empower and improve the quality of Latinos’ life, to advance the education of Hispanic adult and youth people, to bridge differences, and to assure fair and equivalent treatment of the Hispanic community.
Talking about education, The Hispanic Center CEO Martha Gonzalez-Cortes says: “The Hispanic Center wants to increase the awareness in Latino Community about the education; the statistic shows that Latinos have a higher dropout from High school comparing with other ethnic groups” (Gonzalez). Also, according with The Sallie Mae Fund, a charitable organization, states that, “the percentage of Latinos enrolled in institutions of higher education is low. For undergraduates (ages 18 to 24), for example, 37 percent of Caucasians, 28 percent of African-Americans and 20 percent of Latinos are currently enrolled” (Latino Student). Moreover, a survey conducted by the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute at the University of Southern California found that, “many Latino families are not adequately planning for college prior to the end of High School” and this is causing Latinos not to have a superior education because of the lack of money (Latino Students).
To fight these statistics, the Hispanic Center has developed a Youth program that prepares students for college, helps students to explore opportunities through college visits, has workshops on ACT and FAFSA, shows students how to apply for scholarships, assists financially for college books, and many other things. The Hispanic Center is also conscious of the recent U.S census which states that, “Latinos represent more than 13 percentage of the U.S. population”, and estimates that by 2050, “one in four people in the united States will be of Latino Origin” (Latino students). These facts and statistics make the Hispanic Center’s purpose stronger about leading Latinos to a better education.
The Sallie Mae Fund supports the Hispanic Center’s Vision about education, recognizing that people should support, “programs and initiatives that help open doors to higher education, preparing families for their investment, and bridging the gap when no one else can” (Latino Students). Through the Hispanic Center’s programs, the youth are prepared to hopefully be active citizens who will collaborate in the country’s prosperity in the future. A survey conducted by the same institution above found that, “most Latino parents (51 percent) would prefer to learn about financial aid in Spanish” (Latino Students), making the Hispanic Center aware of the barrier of communication that a lot of Latinos may have. To bring down the barrier of English, the Hispanic Center offers ESL (English as a Second Language) programs that teach adults the proper English writing,...